A visit to the Lopez Historical Society & Museum provides an overview of the rich and varied past of Lopez Island. Here you can learn how Lopez Island’s relatively flat landscape, abundant fishing, mild weather and fertile land was a draw for coastal tribes for thousands of years, and how the first non-Native settler came to Lopez around 1850, and settled in what is now Lopez Village. Hiram E. Hutchinson married a Tlingit woman, Mary. Hiram's sister, Irene Weeks, arrived in 1873 and became the first postmaster. In 1870, just 70 people lived on Lopez; by 1930, 134 farms were growing apples, cherries, apricots, plums and vegetables, as well as sheep and cattle. One hundred forty years later, a community of about 2,400 people call Lopez home.
Visit the Port Stanley Schoolhouse to see one of the historic buildings the Lopez community has restored over the years. Now a museum and event space, it served the island as a school for the children of farmers and orchard workers from 1917 to 1941. At the Lopez Island Library, you can feel island history envelop you as you walk through the doors of the former Little Red Schoolhouse. The library began its life at the end of World War II, when Otis and Nan Perkins created Lopez Island Memorial Library in their home to honor their son, Warren, who died in the war. By the 1970s, it needed a new home, and the Lopez Library League raised money and found a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, then moved the building to its present location and renovated it. The library opened its doors in 1986, and has been the center of Lopez intellectual life ever since.