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
Friday, September 26, 2014
7:00 p.m.
San Juan Island Library, 1010 Guard Street

Join Boyd Pratt, Doug McCutchen, of the San Juan County Land Bank, and Mike Vouri for this evening of viewing 1890's images of the San Juan Islands by the U.S. Coast Survey’s John Gilbert.

Vouri will open the discussion with a look at the first survey of the islands by the Coast Survey’s naval assistant, Lt. Cmdr. James Alden, and surveyor and map maker George Davidson operating from the U.S. Coast Steamer Active from 1853-1860.[more...]

San Juan Island
Friday, September 26, 2014
7:00 p.m.
San Juan Island Library, 1010 Guard Street

Join Boyd Pratt, Doug McCutchen and Mike Vouri for an evening of viewing 1890s images of the San Juan islands by the U.S. Coast Survey’s John Gilbert.[more...]

San Juan Island
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Noon - 3:00 p.m.
English Camp, 3905 West Valley Rd.

The annual old-fashioned Holiday Social includes tree trimming and cookie potluck.

Visitors are invited to bring holiday cookies and ornaments that reflect yuletide and winter solstice celebrations throughout the world. As always, a tree will be erected in the old British Royal Marine Light Infantry barracks building -- just as it was likely done in the mid-1860s when the camp was in its heyday.

The park's Volunteer of the Year award and volunteer recognition is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.[more...]