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Friday Harbor Trivia

One of the common questions residents of Friday Harbor hears during tourist season is:  “Where do you all live in the winter?”  The answer is that about 2,000 residents make their homes here year round.  The town was incorporated in 1909, and there is a rich, and sometimes amusing, history of people on San Juan Island.

Historic aerial view of Friday Harbor, WA
Historic aerial view of Friday Harbor, WA

Here is a brief list to get you started:

  • There have been restaurants on the island with rather unique names:  The Wounded Pig, Turnagain, and the Wobblygobbler, to name a few.
  • At one time, a taxi service on the island was called The Rabbit Transit.
  • During the 20’s and 30’s, a one-ring circus wintered on San Juan Island, off Mitchell Bay Road
  • Electric power arrived on the islands in 1951 by way of an underwater cable.  By 1969 four islands had power, and by 1999, the count had risen to twenty.
  • The 4th of July celebration in the 1910’s involved boxing matches and turkey shoots.
  • Orcas Island is not named after our beautiful killer whales, but after the 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, in Spain, who sent an expedition to the Pacific Northwest in 1791.  His full name is Juan Vicente de Guemes Padilla Horcasitos y Aguayo.  Perhaps his friends called him “Orcas”.
  • In the 1930’s a ticket to see the movies in Friday Harbor was ten cents, plus one cent for tax.

    One of the first known photographs of Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA
    One of the first known photographs of Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA

Now, it is your turn to uncover some trivia about San Juan Island during your stay at Tucker House Inn!

Friday Harbor WAferry landing in 30's
Friday Harbor ferry landing in 30’s

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