I admittedly have a bit of an Anglophilia so whilst on a visit to San Juan Island, we explored the English side of San Juan Island National Historical Park. It’s so amptly named “English Camp”.
In 1859, the killing of a pig on San Juan Island brought England and the United States to the brink of war over the issue of territorial rights in what is now Washington state. This conflict is also known as the Pig War, Pig Episode, the Pig and Potato War, the San Juan Boundary Dispute or the Northwestern Boundary Dispute. Other than the hapless piggy, no shots were exchanged and there were no human casualties. Someone must have really had a severe craving for bacon.
By agreement, both nations’ troops were permitted to occupy this area while the problem was studied. British soldiers established a camp at Garrison Bay, which is on the north end of San Juan Island. American troops camped at the southern end of the island. Guess what their camp is named today? American Camp!
Peaceful arbitration of the dispute in 1872 placed the San Juan Islands within the territorial United States. so in October of that year, the British garrison was abandoned.
We headed back to Anacortes from the Friday Harbor ferry just in time to watch the sunset:
English Camp on San Juan
Island National Historic Park Overview
- Coordinates: 48.5878901,-123.1517418
- Fees: $10 Day Use or $30 Annual Discover Pass
- Usage: Moderate
- Things to note:
- Ferry to San Juan Island from Anacortes takes approximately an hour and a half (includes a stop at Lopez Island) and costs about $100 round trip for a vehicle of 5.
- Reserve ferry passage online as spots are limited.
- Pets allowed: Yes
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