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 County Times mention of Dallas Salisbury starting a rabbitry in Clinton. The Salisburys owned the hotel and shingle mill there.
No doubt there were other reasons for the swelling rabbit population, such as escaped bunnies from the Island County Fair, but it seems the original reason was part of a fad for raising Belgian hares for meat.