San Juan Island National Historical Park

650 Mullis Street, Suite 100
Friday Harbor
San Juan Island
(360) 378-2902
(360) 378-2240

The San Juan Island National Historical Park, including American Camp and English Camp, was created in 1966 based upon an idea: that individuals and nations can solve their problems peacefully without resorting to violence.  For it was here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over a pig shot by an American farmer. Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that..

Pressures had been building between the two nations over possession of the San Juan Island group since 1846 when the Treaty of Oregon left ownership unclear. Thus came the "Pig War" crisis, at the height of which more than 500 U.S. Army soldiers and three British warships were nose to nose on the island's southern shore, not 10 miles from Victoria, B.C.  Fortunately, officials on both sides quickly restored calm and the nations agreed to a joint military occupation of the island until the boundary could be decided.

The American soldiers and British Royal Marines remained for 12 years until Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany, as arbitrator, awarded the islands to the U.S. Today, both parks are excellent places to hike, picnic, play on the beach, experience wildlife and enjoy a wealth of programming, including the summer living history events.

Upcoming Events

San Juan Island
Saturday, April 25, 2015
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
American Camp & English Camp

San Juan Island National Historical Park is organizing its second annual free BioBlitz event at both park units -- American Camp and English Camp. This year they will be focusing on amphibians and birds, though the event is open to any taxonomic interest.[more...]

San Juan Island
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Noon - 4:00 p.m.

Catch up with the latest interior restoration during an American Camp Officers’ Quarters Open House.

Maintenance worker, David Harsh, who doubles as the park’s historic buildings restoration specialist, has spent the winter months applying finishes to the interior rooms of the Officers’ Quarters’, officially known as Historic Structure 11 (HS-11). The building was erected at Fort Bellingham in 1856 and transported to San Juan Island during the Pig War crisis of 1859. It is largely acknowledged as the oldest house on the island. [more...]

San Juan Island
July 25; July 26
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
English Camp Parade Ground & Barracks

Park staff, volunteers and re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada recreate life on San Juan Island at mid-19th century. [more...]

San Juan Island
July 25; July 26
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
English Camp Parade Ground & Barracks

Park staff, volunteers and re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada recreate life on San Juan Island at mid-19th century. [more...]