Recent Stories

Today we may take post offices for granted, but soon after they were first instituted following the Revolutionary War, post offices often became the hubs of civilization on the American frontier. As post offices were few and far between settlers…

Dancing was historically a very significant form of community entertainment on Orcas Island, and dancing remains popular to this day. Dance halls were built in many island communities, including Doe Bay, Olga, Orcas, West Sound, and Deer Harbor. In…

Sea and sun bathing at Crescent Beach have been favorite pastimes for Orcas Islanders for generations. Just east of Eastsound, Crescent Beach is located in Ships Bay. Today the beach is part of a 130+ acre conservation area that provides a haven for…

History is felt perhaps nowhere more deeply on Orcas Island than at Madrona Point. Named for the swaths of Madrona trees that line the 30 acre point, the land here is sacred. Used as a burial ground by the Lummi people from time immemorial, Madrona…

The historical Donohue House is known today as the Golden Tree Inn & Hostel. Built by master carpenter Michael Donohue the house was originally part of his 180 acre homestead. Donohue was a Civil War veteran, he and his family settled on Orcas…

Known over the years by many names, including Eastsound Hotel, Eastsound House, Mt. Constitution Inn, and the Beach Hotel, today this charming house is known as the Outlook Inn. Built in the late 1800s by Charles Shattuck, the Inn began its life as…

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San Juans Explorer

San Juans Explorer is a digital guide to the history, natural history, and culture of the San Juan Islands. A project of the Public History Program at Eastern Washington University, the geolocated stories on San Juans Explorer were created by EWU students. Initial content will be deployed in the summer of 2018, and the project will grow one student cohort at a time. For questions or complaints, please contact Larry Cebula, at LarryCebula@gmail.com. This site is powered by Omeka + Curatescape, a humanities-centered web and mobile framework available for both Android and iOS devices.  Read more About Us