As we’ve written about before, Point Roberts is chock full of history. From its discovery by Spanish explorers in the 18th century, to the first Icelandic settlers and the heyday of the fishing and canning industry, all the way up to present day, the Point is full of stories. But without a dedicated museum, Point Roberts’ residents took it upon themselves to preserve this history by forming the Point Roberts Historical Society. Continue reading
A bust of Chief Seattle, the namesake of Seattle. Photo credit: Joe Mabel
The Pacific Northwest is full of interesting place names, originating from a mix of First Nations and European names. And behind each name is a story in the chapters of history. Continue reading
The three possible borders, with the American offer & current border (Haro Strait) in blue, the British offer (Rosario Strait) in red, and the proposed compromise in green.
The Canadian-American border is essentially a straight line from Minnesota all the way to us here in Point Roberts. Once it hits the water it runs through the Haro Strait, west of San Juan Island, and south around Vancouver Island into the ocean. This divides the Strait of Georgia into two distinct island groups – the American San Juan Islands, and the Canadian Gulf Islands (the Seabright Farm Cottages house models are named after islands in both groups!). And much like Point Roberts, this seemingly innocuous border has a very interesting history. Continue reading
A view of Boundary Bay, near Whalen Farm
Gavin Schaefer / Wikimedia Commons
The Whalen Farm archaeological site extends between southern Delta in BC and the Maple Beach area of Point Roberts and offers a peek into how the local First Nations groups lived before Europeans arrived. Continue reading
Photo credit: James G. McCurdy / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
The history of Point Roberts starts with the First Nations that originally occupied the land. Point Roberts and most of the Pacific Northwest was home to aboriginal groups we now collectively call the Coast Salish peoples.
It’s hard to ignore the unique geography of Point Roberts. The peninsula is an exclave – a part of the mainland United States, but without a direct land route to it. As mentioned in the history of Point Roberts, the treaty that made the 49th parallel the US-Canada border accidentally cut off Point Roberts. But how did that actually happen?