• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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    All international departures from Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Sidney, B.C., will be canceled on Thursday, 7/31 and Friday, 8/1 because of a vessel breakdown. The affected westbound departures are Anacortes 8:25 a.m. and 2:50 p.m., and Friday Harbor 9:45. More »

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Summer Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily through September 1. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

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Weaving Weekend Slated for August 3 and 4

roger ellison explains copice craft
Roger Ellison demonstrates coppice craft techniques to a visitor during Weaving Weekend 2012.
Mike Vouri

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News Release Date: July 30, 2013
Contact: Mike Vouri, 360-378-2240, ext. 2227
Contact: Doug Halsey, 360-378-2240, ext. 2228

Weavers from throughout San Juan Island and Washington State will gather for the weekend to demonstrate how European and American Indian techniques melded to create woven objects and clothing unique to the Pacific Northwest.

The free program is scheduled Saturday and Sunday August 3 and 4 on the English Camp parade ground. A golf cart is available to transport disabled persons to and from the parking area. Call (360) 378-2240, ext. 2233 or 378-4409 for additional special access information.

Cowlitz Nation weaver Judy Bridges and renowned Washington State storyteller Karen Haas will join San Juan Islanders Roger Ellison and Anita Barreca, plus island spinners and weavers to show how it was done with all-natural fibers, including wild reeds.

Weaving is a common element across many cultures from Eurasia to the Americas, Bridges said. The location of a culture determines the type of creations its members will make.

While white settlers used natural resources in some aspects of their lives, American Indian relied almost entirely on what was at hand, especially the cedar tree, known to them as the "tree of life."

Cedar served a purpose in all its forms. The bark could be pounded into cotton for clothing. Some American Indians also wrapped their dead in cedar.

Bridges began weaving because she wanted to pursue an activity that would reflect her native heritage. To her, weaving can be a spiritual experience. Throughout the basket weaving process, Bridges said, there are times when she feels connected to past basket weavers.

"I feel like I'm a part of the long line of people who have done this," she said.

Daub and wattle are building materials used in constructing houses. A woven latticework of wooden stakes called wattles is daubed with a mixture of mud and clay, animal dung and straw to create a structure.Pioneer weaving usually blended European techniques and native materials.

Ellison and Barreca not only will demonstrate these crafts, but will also invite visitors to try their hands. Participants also will have a hands-on opportunity to make and take home their own small crafts projects.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The English Camp barracks was originally used as the privates' mess until extended in 1867. During the restoration process in the early 1970's a pot of gold coins and currency was found in the attic. The treasure belonged to the Crook family, who settled on the site in 1875.