News Release

American Camp Visitor Center Opens to the Public

Color photograph of two people examining a display of colorful paddles.
The first visitors to the new American Camp Visitor Center examine a display of artistic paddles created by the park's tribal partners

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News Release Date: June 23, 2022

Contact: Cyrus Forman, 360-298-4698

Friday Harbor, WA – At 9 AM this morning, San Juan Island National Historical Park opened its brand new American Camp Visitor Center exhibits to the public for the first time. The visitor center exhibits examine the human history and living environment of the American Camp area. San Juan Island National Historical Park is most known for its role as a site of international conflict and peacemaking in the mid-1800s, but this visitor center demonstrates that there are many captivating stories to encounter on San Juan Island. Park visitors will get a chance to learn about the living indigenous cultures that have called this island home since time immemorial, the multiracial homesteading families that helped settle this island, and how islanders have interacted with its unique and beautiful environments for millennia.

The new Visitor Center exhibits, created in collaboration with participating Coast Salish Tribes, will transform visitor services and experiences for generations to come “At long last, the park has a Visitor Center that brings to life our rich cultural and history. We have worked closely with carvers, artists, , scholars, and scientists to create a community facility that pays tribute to the multiple histories of San Juan Island, highlights the diversity of the park’s story, and inspires stewardship for our island’s unique and fragile environment.,” said Park Superintendent Elexis Fredy. Normal hours of operations will be 9 AM-4PM, Thursday-Tuesday. To arrange a media tour of the Visitor center, contact e-mail us.

Today’s opening is one major component of a summer of events celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Boundary Dispute Resolution which made San Juan Island a part of the United States. On August 5-7, we will host encampment with more than 50 costumed historical interpreters who will give visitors an opportunity to travel back to the 1800s. In the fall, the park will hold a formal commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of ethe San Juan Boundary Dispute Resolution. The park is producing a series of short films with acclaimed local filmmaker Michael Noonan that highlight its rich cultural and environmental resources. Park staff and volunteers are delivering new programs that expand upon the Visitor Center’s rich resources and help visitors connect with this special place.

Last updated: June 23, 2022

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Friday Harbor, WA 98250


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