Remaining Blockhouses of Central Whidbey

Remaining Blockhouses of Central Whidbey (HM15G5)

Location: Coupeville, WA 98239 Island County
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Country: United States of America
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N 48° 12.368', W 122° 42.392'

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Saved Blockhouse
In 1921 a local civic group, the Ladies of the Round Table (LORT) began a ten year effort to restore the decaying Davis Blockhouse. Local carpenter Fred Krueger handled the project carefully replacing rotting beams while preserving the "fireplace built of clay and sticks". The group persuaded the Island County Commissioners to assume ownership and long-term care of the structure. The Commissioners then expanded Sunnyside Cemetery with a new "Blockhouse" plat.

Local Tragedy
From 1855-1857, Indian unrest in the Puget Sound Region spurred early Whidbey settlers to build the first four blockhouses, followed by three more after the tragic murder of Isaac Ebey by the southeast Alaskan Kake Indians in 1857. The Indians shot and beheaded prominent civic leader Ebey as retribution for the loss of twenty-seven Kake tribal members during relocation talks on the US Navy steamer Massachusetts the previous year. Ebey's scalp was eventually recovered but questions remain as to its final location.

The 1855 Alexander Blockhouse, moved from John Alexander's farm to its current location next to the Island County Historical Museum in Coupeville, provided protection for the first three families on the Island.

The 1855 Crockett Blockhouse, one of two stockaded blockhouses remains today, moved just south west of its original site. The other blockhouse went to the 1909 Yukon-Alaska Pacific Exposition.

The 1857 Ebey Blockhouse was one of four standing at the corners of a stockade enclosing the Jacob Ebey house, currently under restoration by the National Park Service southwest of the Cemetery. Jacob Ebey's son, Winfield, used the blockhouse as his office, the first law office on Whidbey Island.

The 1857 Davis Blockhouse, next to this Interpretive Panel, stands on its original site, but was built by John Davis initially as a cabin and modified into a blockhouse after the death of his brother-in-law Isaac Ebey. The chimney's fireplace was originally of stick and mud.

Ongoing Restoration
By 2007 the Davis Blockhouse was in desperate need of restoration. This project was accomplished by Island County Cemetery District No. 2 with local assistance from the Coupeville Lions Club. The entire building was thoroughly cleaned. Rotting logs were replaced using period building methods. A former restoration problem was repaired which included a foundation of gravel and field stones to hide cement footings. An innovative steel brace was embedded in supporting beams to provide additional roof strength.
HM NumberHM15G5
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 10:56pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10U E 521803 N 5339253
Decimal Degrees48.20613333, -122.70653333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 48° 12.368', W 122° 42.392'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds48° 12' 22.08" N, 122° 42' 23.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)360
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 90 Cemetery Rd, Coupeville WA 98239, US
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