INDOOR Exhibits

Impacts of Colonization on the Straits Salish


The San Juan Islands are the traditional territory of the Straits Salish people. Beginning in 1790, they continued to inhabit the islands, but were impacted by European exploration, the fur trade, new diseases, treaties, homestead acts, and Euro-American exploitation of the salmon fishery. Today the Straits Salish remain connected to the islands through fishing, culture, language, Canoe Journeys, and more.

Family Outing by Bill Holm

Fisherman Bay, 1945-1955

Tide of Change

Tourism arrives on the scene to add a new layer to the traditional economies of farming, fishing, and services.

Work, play, and service on the Friendly Isle

Clubs, Commerce, Community

Chock full of photos of the ways Lopezians used to keep themselves busy – making a living, socializing, and improving life on the island.

Some things we just can’t seem to put away

Museum favorites

The Lopez Island Community Signature Quilt; Ralph Hitchcock’s incredibly accurate ship models of the steamer Rosalie and the Harvester King, a kelp-harvester turned car ferry; Jean and Fred Bartholomew’s fun and beautiful kitchen table, tiled with a hand-painted map of Lopez in 1961; and a dug-out canoe from the 1920s are some of the museum favorites that are always on exhibit.

A space for kids to play and tell their own Lopez story

Children’s Corner

Kids love this cozy corner filled with historic school desks for pretending, an interactive storyboard where they can make their own Lopez story, and photos and stories about the way kids used to live on Lopez.

Did wolves once wander Lopez?

Wild Lopez

Explore the natural history of Lopez, including evidence of wolves on the island! Birds, mammals, and plants of the coastal prairie habitats common to the San Juan Islands.

OUTDOOR Exhibits

A maritime icon of the Salish Sea

FV Sally J

Bastion Jevick’s gillnetter, built on the mudflats of the Duwamish and fished from the south end of Lopez for decades, now preserved to tell the story of commercial fishing in the historically rich waters surrounding the island.

Functional, wild, beautiful

Rain Gardens and Hedgerows

Demonstration gardens of native plants that can help you invite wildlife and native pollinators to your yard.

Take a moment to stop and explore the past

The Shed and Yard

Filled with fascinating, if rusty, bits of Lopez history and ways of life. A storied Captain’s Gig (a rowboat that served a larger ship); a skiff used on the reefnet fishing gear at the mouth of Fisherman’s Bay; and farming, logging, and fishing equipment of eras past. There is always something new to notice.

School is in session


The Port Stanley School was in session from 1917 until Lopez Island schools consolidated in 1941. It was then used as a meeting place, hardware store, and hay storage building until it was donated to the Lopez Island Historical Society by Chris & Helena Jones. Restoration was completed in 2003, with outbuilding and parking lot work continuing into 2005.