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United States> Washington> Friday Harbor> American Camp (San Juan Island National Historic Park)

Pacific Northwest - Washington

American Camp (San Juan Island National Historic Park)

( Nature’s Beauty / Parks )

A Karen Brown Recommendation
Friday Harbor, WA  USA

American Camp (San Juan Island National Historic Park) at the most southeastern point on the island was the American military settlement during the “Pig War” of 1859–72. At the time, there was considerable disagreement about who owned the San Juan Islands: was it the U.S. or Britain? Tensions came to a head in 1859, when an American farmer shot a pig rooting uninvited in his potato patch. As it turned out, the pig belonged to the very British Hudson’s Bay Company. Believe it or not, the U.S. Infantry was dispatched to San Juan Island, as were several British warships. After an initial standoff involving no fighting, joint occupation was agreed upon and lasted until 1872, when Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, invited to serve as arbiter, decided in favor of the Americans. Today, American Camp is headquarters to the island’s National Historic Park. In a building at the entrance, you can view a brief slide show about the Pig War and pick up a brochure for a self-guided walking tour of the grounds. Several original structures still stand, including a campsite and an officers’ quarters. Along Griffin Bay to the north, a trail guides you through woods above several lagoons. From the trail, you’ll see beautiful broad beaches, and perhaps, a pod of orcas making its seasonal migration

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