Our Museum is open Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Love local history? Here’s how you can learn more…

Bill Haroldson, President of the SWHS

Become a Member
Join the South Whidbey Historical Society and receive special discounts and access to special events and sections of the website reserved for members, It’s easy and inexpensive. Just visit our Membership Page.

Your Support Matters We are always grateful for financial donations. Simply CLICK HERE donate safely via PayPal, or mail a check to SWHS / PO Box 612 / Langley, WA 98260.

Join Our Legacy Circle
When you remember the South Whidbey Historical Society in your will or estate plan, you help keep your community Historical Society and Museum serving our community. Contact us for details at (360) 221-2101.

Become Involved
Finally, we are seeking additional volunteers to serve as Museum docents and a few more Board members. Email us at [email protected] or you can telephone the museum at (360) 221-2101. Please leave us a message and we will return your telephone call or email.

Follow Us on Facebook
Join the 4,000 people who follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SouthWhidbeyHistory.

 

Help preserve and share South Whidbey history by making a donation today…

  CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Click here for tickets: https://ddock.co/NGM1HT8DAO

The South Whidbey Historical Society collects, preserves and presents information, stories and artifacts of our history, weaving together the diverse experiences of our people as context for today’s decision makers and inspiration for tomorrow’s leaders.

We accomplish this mission by maintaining a Museum in Langley to house our collections and through our displays at the Island County Fairgrounds.

In addition, the Society sponsors regular “Then and Now” evening presentations that focus on South Whidbey Island history and maintains our “Virtual Museum” which contains digital images of our collections

 

Some of SW’s Notable People…

Langley’s All-Woman City Council

Langley’s All-Woman City Council

In 1919, a special election was held in Langley which resulted in an all-woman administration who took office in January 1920. This is but one part of Washington State's interesting road to women's suffrage as local historian Bob Waterman explains in this video. If...

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Omer Porter

Omer Porter

Found this fascinating article in our archives about Omer Porter, which was written by John Watkins and which appeared in the South Whidbey Record on October 7, 1980. It gives a glimpse into what life was like on South Whidbey around the turn of the last century....

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Chief William Shelton: A Bridge Between Two Worlds

Chief William Shelton: A Bridge Between Two Worlds

A Bridge Between Two Worlds: Chief William Shelton His Story Poles and Enduring Legacy Few Whidbey Islanders know of William Shelton. He was the last hereditary chief of the Snohomish Tribe and was born at Brown’s Point (now Sandy Point) on Whidbey Island in 1868. The...

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SWHS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

South Whidbey Historical Society seeks equity, diversity and inclusion in our organization, activities and make up of community partners.

    • We acknowledge that we gather on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish People, especially the Snohomish.
    • We pledge to collaborate in a respectful exchange of ideas and experiences regardless of age, background, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, religion, and ability.
    • We strive to remove barriers through regular consultation with people and groups contributing a variety of voices and perspectives, to add new levels of meaning to our programming and deepen its relevance to the broader community.
    • We seek to care for and share natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, and heal.

Posts From Our Facebook Page

Before TVs, smart phones, computers and video games!

Before TVs, smart phones, computers and video games!

   What did young people do with their time before TVs, smart phones, computers, video games and other devices were available?    Former resident Dick Bryant shared the following account he wrote about growing up on South Whidbey. We very much appreciate such...

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The Marina 1911 and 1913.

The Marina 1911 and 1913.

   We love it when people share or donate photos to our Museum. Special thanks to Bob Pearce who recently donated these photos found in a building at the marina he was renovating years ago.    They were taken between 1911 and 1913 and are signed on the back by Jake...

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The Jensen Family

The Jensen Family

      Our last post focused on some photos originally belonging to Jake Jensen, of views of the Langley Dock that the Jensen family owned. We thought you might like to know more about the Jensen family and how they helped shape early Langley.      Hans Peter (H.P.)...

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November 14, 1913…

November 14, 1913…

      Under the category of 'everything old is new again' we found this mention in the 1913 Island County Times that could be construed as a Langley precursor to Uber or Lyft... or at least a local taxi service. November 14, 1913...      "Call or phone Ed Howard,...

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Old Ferries

Old Ferries

We enjoy when our FB followers share their memories of living on Whidbey Island. Here's a recent one by Dick Bryant with attached ferry photos... A COUPLE OF OLD FERRIES by Dick Bryant As a resident of South Whidbey for the first 20 years of my life, I became quite...

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Bayview Corner

Bayview Corner

Through the 30s, 40s, and 50s, Bayview Corner was a hub of life and activity on South Whidbey. With an elementary school, a community hall, a gas station, mercantile, feed store, auto garage, and even a tavern and hotel for a short window of time, Bayview had...

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Childhood memories of the Fair

Childhood memories of the Fair

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF THE FAIR... Sandy Peterson Nelson (left) and her sister Susie Peterson Blackstock stopped in at the Whidbey Island Fair today and found a photo of them as kids in the 1949 Kiddie Parade along with big sister Sharon Peterson Gould. They are on the...

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Log House Discovered

Log House Discovered

Patricia Guthrie's article about a log house discovered during an attempted demolition is in this morning's Whidbey News Times. In our next post we'll provide additional information on past owners of the property. Some south Whidbey residents may know the house as the...

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“Conductor of Fun”

“Conductor of Fun”

It's been nearly a year ago that we lost South Whidbey's 'Conductor of Fun' Jim Freeman. Jim emceed many, many events on South Whidbey over the decades and was known for his gentle humor, kindness, and for being an all-around great guy. There will be a memorial...

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Too many rabbits…

Too many rabbits…

This June 10, 1942 column in the Seattle Star by Chick Garrett reports on the rising rabbit population on the Island, especially with WWII hunting restrictions. We were curious about the South Whidbey person who brought rabbits to the Island and found a 1900 Island...

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The Will of Joseph Whidbey

The Will of Joseph Whidbey

Feliks Banel, resident historian of KIRO Radio, and podcaster of MyNorthwest.com interviewed Bill Haroldson (SWHS Board President) on KIRO Radio this morning about the recently discovered will of Joseph Whidbey. Thanks for the shout-out, Feliks!...

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John MacDonald

John MacDonald

  On the outskirts of the Langley area, to the southeast, on what is now Wilkinson Road, a Scottish man, John MacDonald, (sometimes spelled McDonald) and his wife, Mary, established their home.  John left Glasgow, Scotland in 1879 and Mary and their three children...

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A Sea Serpent in Holmes Harbor?

A Sea Serpent in Holmes Harbor? This is one of the more unusual articles we have come across concerning South Whidbey. This article was found in the Chilliwack Progress newspaper in British Columbia dated Aug. 13, 1891 and also in the Montana newspaper, The Anaconda...

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Tall Tales of Clams and Currents

Tall Tales of Clams and Currents

TALL TALES of CLAMS AND CURRENTS... BUT TRUE We thought this brief article from the May 24, 1889 Mason County Journal worth sharing... ---------------- When General Winfield Scott was on the Sound to quiet the San Juan disturbance in 1859 [the Pig War], Lieutenant R....

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A Brief History of Our South End Communities…

(Click on the town name to open the page.)