Friday, June 29, 2018

Deer Harbor Notes

I had a wet early morning stop on the upper end of Deer Harbor on Orcas Island. The view looking south from the upper bay down this protected inlet shows a few docks as well as the marina dock in the upper end of the bay.  

The upper part of Deer Harbor inlet

San Juan County used some grant money to replace the bridge across the upper part of the inlet a couple of years ago.

The first bridge across the inlet was built in 1915. This latest bridge replaced the span that had been built in 1970 (deer-harbor-bridge) and is a wider structure. The project was partially significantly supported by a Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project. By widening the estuary opening and removing a rocked bottom under the old bridge, the estuary is supposed to drain more freely and recover some of the original habitat features.

The harbor got its name from Hudson Bay Company hunters as the site was apparently a good deer hunting site. One of the early Hudson Bay hunters, Louis Cayou, stayed on and married a Lummi Indian. His name can be seen on an early survey and was later the name given to the estuary at the head of the inlet. 

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