Lopez History Afloat 3

An Afternoon Aboard the ‘Mystic Sea’

June 27, 2015

LIHS-Mystic Sea image

Our first big event this summer is Lopez History Afloat 3, an Afternoon Aboard the Mystic Sea on June 27. Lopez historians Jack Giard, Bob Hughes and Ralph Bladt will join master story-teller and long-time Lopezian, Captain Monte Hughes, to narrate a beautiful trip around Lopez Island on the 100ft. Mystic Sea. We’ll leave Spencer’s Landing Marina at noon, planning to return at 4:00.

Tickets are $120 each, and include hearty snacks and refreshments. Seats are limited: please reserve tickets now to guarantee your place.  You may contact the museum at (360)468-2049 or via email

Here’s a few comments from previous trips:

“I loved it all – the boat, the stories, the “historical” banter, the conversations with passengers, the awesome views. Monte was great!”

“The trip was amazing.  I have been on the island for 53 years and I learned so many new things. Monte does a stellar job, with just the right sense of humor.”

“Overall it was WONDERFUL! “

2015 Exhibit: Salmon was King


LIHS-exhibitFishing logo-WEB

Our new exhibit is “Salmon was King,” showing the history of Lopez Island’s
fishing industry divided into three 40-year eras.

April 25 – September 30, 2015
Wednesday through Sunday  •  Noon to 4

Museum Members Reception
April 24  •  5-7pm

Millions of salmon spawn in the innumerable rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest.  As they reach maturity in the Pacific Ocean and return to their birthplace in a four-year cycle, fishing boat operators try to impede their journey.  The southern shore of Lopez is one of the best salmon fishing spots.  Most sockeye salmon (the most prized variety) swim off the south end of Lopez and Salmon Banks off San Juan Island.  They mill around for several weeks in late July and early August before heading north, giving Lopez fishers a chance to catch their fair share.

From the 1890s to the 1970s, the fishing industry dominated Lopez Island’s economy.  Fishing methods changed dramatically after fish traps were outlawed in 1934 and again after a controversial court ruling in 1974.  Salmon was King shows the history of the Lopez fishing industry divided into three 40-year eras.

Generously sponsored by: Islanders Insurance, Spencer’s Landing Marina, Richardson Fuel, Lopez Island Pharmacy, Lopez Village Market, Jamie & Lauren Stephens, Cloud Islands, On-Site Island Services, Islander Resort, Karen Rousseau, Lopez Sand & Gravel, Mike Halperin & Jodi Green, Nancy & Charles Givens, Spud & Karen Grimes, Ande & Scott Finley, Bob & Becky Smith, Charlie & Margot Janeway, Dave & Barbara Thomas, Doug & Marcia Stevenson, Mary Fagerholm Reece, Ralph Bladt & Barbara Fulton, Scott & Suzi Jennings, Gary & Karen Alexander, Nancy Nordhoff, Duane & Audrey Bordvick, Dianne Pressenda, Raiti Waerness.


2015 Preview

We have lots of projects in the works for 2015, beginning with our museum members opening on April 24. Members get the first opportunity to see our new wolf exhibit (Yes! There were wolves on Lopez!) and a new yet-to-be-named fishing exhibit. We’ll host History Afloat again this year with a narrated trip around Lopez on on Monte Hughes’s Mystic Sea.

Our big summer project is the You Are Making History Timeline and Picnic. We received more than 200 name entries at our picnic last year. We plan to collect names through this year, then turn it into a permanent display. We hope this will be the vehicle to bring more young people to the museum. Their place in Lopez history has the same weight as the earliest settlers—the timeline is a great visual reminder.

There’s more. Please check this website or our Facebook page for updates.

Community Picnic

 July 26, 2014

We’re hosting a community picnic on July 26, starting at 11:00 on the museum grounds. You bring blankets and your picnic lunch, we’ll provide the entertainment.

pioneers on the beach

Picnics were an enjoyable way for islanders to share fun and stories. The Pioneer Association, organized by Isaella (Burt) Bloor, held its first picnic in 1915 or 1916 on Bloor’s Beach.

In addition to a great afternoon of music produced by Bill Johnson, we’ll have activities for the kids and storytelling for both kids and adults. The museum’s west wall will feature the beginning of a new exhibit. The You Are Making History Timeline will provide a chance for you to reserve your place in Lopez Island history. You’ll enter the date you arrived on Lopez as well as the date your earliest ancestor arrived. We’ll collect names and dates for 2 years, then will turn the Timeline into a permanent exhibit. Someday, your great-great-grandchildren’s grandchildren will come to come to Lopez looking for their family stories. They will see your name on our timeline and may discover a treasure trove of your family photos and letters in the museum archives. We hope you’ll join us at the picnic!

2014 Exhibit: Brave, Bold, Beautiful: Lopez Women

Not All Women Wore Bonnets…

Our new exhibit is “Brave, Bold, Beautiful: Lopez Women,” a look at some of the notable and accomplished women in Lopez Island’s past.

Exhibit logoLopez women were intrepid, enthusiastically participating in the male-dominated world of farming, fishing, and shopkeeping. They were postmistresses, hoteliers, cannery workers, music teachers, and switchboard operators. “Brave, Bold & Beautiful” showcases Lopez women from different eras, all working to make Lopez Island the place we love.

Generously sponsored by: Islanders Insurance, Spencer’s Landing Marina, Richardson Fuel, Lopez Island Pharmacy, Lopez Village Market, Mitrebox Contracting, Jamie & Lauren Stephens, Cloud Islands, Edenwild Inn, On-Site Island Services, Doug James Floor Coverings, Karen Rousseau, Lopez Sand & Gravel, Mike Halperin & Jodi Green, Nancy & Charles Givens, Spud & Karen Grimes, Gary & Karen Alexander, Steve & Michele Heller, Nancy Nordhoff, Jim & Nancy Kenagy, Duane & Audrey Bordvick, Dianne Pressenda, Raiti Waerness.