Why Yukon Harbor is Extremely Historical.

If you were to stand on the viewing platform on the Curley Creek bridge, you’d be within view of countless historic locations. Consider:

  • Prehistoric Site– a clovis spearhead, dated to 11,000 BC, was found in a swampy area along Banner Road, uphill from the elementary school.
  • Suquamish Village– The native tribes built and maintained a village on the sandy beach just to the North of Curley Creek. There were, perhaps, as many as four longhouses, as noted by both the Vancouver and Wilkes expedition notes.
  • Vancouver Expedition– The British warship, HMS Discovery, Captained by George Vancouver looped around Blake Island in 1792, charting the waters and making note of the Curley Creek estuary. His charts specifically show that he passed by the mouth of the creek.
  • Wilkes Expedition– At the direction of President John Quincy Adams, the United States Exploration Expedition, led by Lt. Charles Wilkes, anchored here in 1841 and sent a party ashore to make note of the features. Wilkes named this place Barron’s Bay, by the way.
  • Birthplace of Chief Seattle– Some accounts indicate that Blake Island is the birthplace of Chief Sealth, for whom the city of Seattle was named. Archaeological evidence shows there was a significant Suquamish presence on the island.
  • Trimble Island– Blake Island has been host to countless famous people. It was once owned by Seattle millionaire William Pitt Trimble and his wife, Cassandra. The couple invited famous people in their expansive estate there, including President William Howard Taft, members of the Vanderbilt family, and countless mayors and governors. Later visitors included President Bill Clinton and members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference (APEC), including
    –Jiang Zemin, president of the People’s Republic of China;
    –Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia;
    –Hassanal Bokiah, Sultan of Brunei who was the world’s richest man (since surpassed by Bill Gates);
    –Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien;
    –Indonesian President Suharto;
    –South Korean President Kim Young Sam; Philippines President Fidel Ramos;
    –Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa;
    –New Zealand Prime Minister James Bolger;
    –Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong; and
    –Thailand Prime Minister Chuan Likpahl.
  • Colby Village– The original Jumping off point for the Southern Kitsap County was a Colby, located 1000 yards North of Curley Creek. It had a post office before Port Orchard, Bremerton, or any of the other local towns.
  • Orca Breeding Ground– Besides being a significant salmon spawning ground for hundreds of years, large numbers of orca whales migrated here annually to feed and breed. The famous Sea World whales, Shamu and Namu, were captured here.

2 thoughts on “Why Yukon Harbor is Extremely Historical.

  1. Orcas put in an ocassional appearance in the area of Yukon Harbor, Southworth Point, and Vashon Island. They don’t usually stay, just passing through.

    Two exceptions I’m aware: around 1988-90, a pod swam into Dyes Inlet (Bremerton/Sinclair Inlet area ) and stayed for days. They swam in and out among the boats of whale watchers, appeared to be chasing salmon, which would be a migratory thing to do. Also in the early 2000s, a pod “dropped off” a young whale around north Vashon Island. Ferry riders dubbed the baby “Springer”, and the event was well covered in the Seattle press. Leaving a baby in the “nursery” of south Sound perhaps was a harking back to a time when whales bred, nursed, and were pretty safe in our inland waters. Ya think?

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