Logo for the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites

Visits From Descendants

historic image of a large group of people standing in a field
The Hemphill Family in front what is now the Upper Tucker House, 235 C Street
The Hemphill Family in front what is now the Upper Tucker House, 235 C Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In October we were honored with visits from two descendants of island pioneers. Jerry Hemphill, who we wrote about in our February 2012 Inn Newsletter, actually stayed with us in the original 1898 Tucker House, what we call the Lower Tucker House. Jerry’s father actually inherited the Upper Tucker House, which now is the center of our Reception and Guest Areas. Jerry visited that house often as a child in the late 20′s and early 30′s when his grandfather still lived there, and later when occupied by his aunt Edna and uncle John Nash.

Jerry wrote to us after his stay, “What you have done for the old homes is nothing short of magnificent. Grandpa Hemphill, a tightfisted old Scotch/Irishman, would never believe that his simple dwelling would get such a makeover. I should have used my Sony camera for the Interior photos; however, enough to say what is recorded demonstrates how much you and your husband have done to make a lasting and successful enterprise out of the old homes.” As he walked through the house, he told stories of Grandfather and his family living there.  When we entered the parlor, our current reception area, he struck a pose and said, “This is how Grandfather would stand.”  He then placed one hand on the mantle and outstretched his other arm.  He held a camera in place of Grandfather’s pipe.

Jerry Hemphill
Jerry Hemphill

Jerry was kind enough to meet with those on the island who are determined to preserve the history of those who were here before us: Sandy Strehlou, Historic Preservation Coordinator for Town of Friday Harbor, and Kevin Loftus, Director of the San Juan Historical Museum. Joining them were two of our long-time islanders family members, Sam Buck and Guard Sundstrom. Lots of stories were shared and notes taken, all serving to bring island history alive.

Also visiting us was Patti Skene, who found us through a photo that we’d published on our October, 2011 blog, Are There Ghosts In Friday Harbor. The photo was of Adah Beeny and her sister, with a baby between them. According to Patti, that baby was her grandmother, and Adah was the nanny for 50 years to all the McMillan children at what is now Roche Harbor Resort. Patti and her husband Don stopped by on their way to Roche Harbor to meeting with three historians there.

We love hearing tales of the past because they give us a sense of place, and add a fascinating addition to these unique buildings and the island. We are grateful to all those who take time to share their photos and stories with us.

Descendant of the Tucker House visits the Inn
Mr. Hemphill demonstrating how his Grandfather would stand  in the parlor, pipe in hand in place of the camera.

 

Recent Posts

Start Planning Your Weekend Getaways in Washington with Kids

The San Juan Islands are particularly family-friendly and one of the best places to unplug! Your weekend getaways in Washington with kids in tow can be filled with long (or short) hikes, treasure hunting on the beach, wildlife viewing, kayaking, and so much more. Friday Harbor is a great home

Read More »

Lime Kiln State Park Lighthouse & Other Island Landmarks

San Juan Island is known for many things! The charming town of Friday Harbor, arriving by ferry, whale watching, and fantastic hikes. One of the must-visit attractions on the island is the Lime Kiln State Park Lighthouse. This iconic 1919 landmark sits on the Western end of the 41-acre park,

Read More »

The Best Time to Visit San Juan Islands in 2024

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “When is the best time to visit the San Juan Islands?” and while each season has a special and unique draw, Summer and early Fall are often considered the perfect timeframe for a beautiful and temperate retreat in the Pacific

Read More »
Scroll to Top
lighthouse at a rocky shorline with evergree trees at back

Recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine

We have been recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the best place to stay when visiting Friday Harbor and San Juan Island.

Give The Gift of Tucker & Harrison House This Holiday Season

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at our inns.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.