Samish Island is a beautiful island! Samish Island is not very well known because there are only 300 homes on the island, very few properties come for sale each year. Many first time visitors become aware of Samish Island because of Camp Kirby, a children’s camp founded in 1923 that is owned and operated by Camp Fire USA.
Originally the Skagit River entered Puget Sound through Padilla Bay, and at that time, Samish Island was an truly an island. It took from 1871 to 1932 to build the series of dikes which connect Samish Island to the mainland – and the more accurate name would be Samish Peninsula instead of Samish Island as the island is connected by a “land bridge”.
Along with Guemes Island, Samish Island is considered part of the Inner San Juan Islands. The island is mostly residential with only a few businesses and cottage industries. Although there is not a commercial center on the island, everything you need is available from the surrounding towns of Edison, Burlington, Anacortes, and Bellingham.
The area was originally inhabited by the 1,000 members of the Samish Tribe who enjoyed abundant food from the sea and tide flats. In 1791 the Spanish arrived and the diseases that they brought had devastating effects on the Samish Tribe. Samish Island is pristine with breathtaking beauty, and is still a favorite clamming, crabbing and fishing location.
Samish Island has some of the best birdwatching in North America, and I always see bald eagles on the island, although they are more prevalent in the winter. It is not uncommon to see dozens of Bald Eagles and Great Blue Heron.
Both Seattle and Vancouver B.C. are only 90 minutes away providing a wide diversity of cultural and culinary entertainment. Click here to see a rainfall map. (Samish Island gets much less than Seattle or Bellingham!) ©Jean Groesbeck 2008