San Juan Island National Historical Park
In one of the stranger pieces of history, the killing of a pig by an American settler nearly set off a war between the U.S. and Britain; see The Pig War for details on this bizarre incident. Fortunately, conflict was averted and the San Juan Islands were eventually declared American territory.
The sites where the American and British forces were based during the peaceful standoff are now part of the San Juan Island National Historical Park (headquarters on Spring St. in Friday Harbor, 360/378-2240, www.nps.gov/sajh, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri. the rest of the year).
Summertime activities include guided historical walks at 11:30 a.m. Thursday–Sunday and living history exhibitions 12:30–3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The office houses a small exhibit about the Pig War.
The park itself is in two sections on different ends of the island: American Camp and English Camp. Both sites have picnic areas and beach access for day use only, with no campgrounds. The grounds are open year-round.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition