Vor 150 Jahren: Schweinekonflikt beendet

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  • San Juan Island National Historical Park Celebrates 150 Years of Peace!


    150 years ago today, Kaiser Wilhelm I, Emperor of Germany declared that the Haro Strait was the water boundary between the United States and Great Britain in the Pacific Northwest, making the San Juan Islands part of the USA. The Kaiser’s decision was the final act in an arbitration process that had lasted for 15 months. George Bancroft, the diplomat who argued the US case in the boundary arbitration, recognized its historic importance: “the definitive, friendly settlement of the difference ... closed the long ... dangerous series of difficulties on the extent of their respective territories, and so for the first time in their histories open[ed] to the two countries the unobstructed way to agreement, good understanding and peace." It was "the last real, serious issue to arise between our two nations."

    San Juan Island National Historical Park was created to commemorate the acts of peaceful diplomacy and international cooperation which prevented a war between two powerful states and that created the current friendship between the two nations.This year has also been a historic year for our park. On June 24, 2022, a long-awaited visitor center at American Camp was opened which had been in development since 2016. This visitor center, created in direct collaboration with park-associated Coast Salish Tribes, inspires visitors to expand their understanding of a more complete history that lead up to the Kaiser’s momentous decision and its reverberations, both positive and negative. The park also renewed its vigorous living history program, culminating in Encampment, a gathering of living history interpreters from around the Pacific Northwest which brought the past to life. This same year, our park also completed a major upgrade to our digital services which provides deeper and more nuanced history and a wealth of information regarding recreational opportunities in and beyond the park.

    As the park undertakes these initiatives and celebrates its anniversary, there is a recognition that San Juan Island has become a more popular destination for regional and international visitors. From 2000-2019, park visitation remained static, ranging between 220,000 and 316,000 annually. In the past three years, that has changed substantially, such that in 2022, the park expects to have nearly 750,000 visitors, a growth that will likely continue if not sustain. This increased visitation has meant additional strains on our infrastructure and resources, but it also presents the park with opportunities to share the history of this place with more citizen stewards. As we mark the historic events of the past, San Juan Island National Historical Park looks forward to a bright future in which we continue to tell the full history of our island with so many people.


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