Visiting with history: Bainbridge Island

Posted on January 12th, 2017 by

We took advantage of a rare bluebird sky day in Seattle to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, the site of some of Seattle’s most important economic and social history. Bainbridge was a key in Washington State’s timber industry and Seattle would look very different today if Bainbridge’s lumber had not been so available and of such high quality.

As we learned from our class research and at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, the Japanese-Americans on Bainbridge were the first in Seattle to be forcibly removed to internment camps during WWII– something our docent remembered seeing as a young boy. As Seattle advances in diversity initiatives and embraces its history, the Japanese internment part of its story continues to provide lessons of caution as well as pride: over half of the Japanese families who were forced to leave Bainbridge were able to return to their former homes and businesses because their neighbors cared for their property during their time in the camps and returned it to them when the war ended. Students engaged with the very knowledgeable and accessible staff during the Historical Museum visit, and this will help add context when we visit Seattle’s International District on Friday morning.

 

 

So many of the residents have boats– the marina is packed for such a small island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View of the Seattle skyline from the ferry.

 

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