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San Juan County was organized in 1873 from Whatcom County. It was named for Juan Francisco de Eliza who explored Puget Sound in 1791. The county is the state’s smallest in area and is made up of a small cluster of islands located east of Vancouver Island in Puget Sound. The county’s most significant historical event was the dispute between Great Britain and the United State over the islands’ sovereignty known as “The Pig War.” The dispute was arbitrated by Germany and settled in favor of the United States.  Today the primary economic pursuits in the county are produce farming and tourism.


Bounded by: Whatcom County (N), Skagit and Island counties  (E), Jefferson (S) and British Columbia (W).


County Seat:  Friday Harbor


Chamber of Commerce:

      San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce, ( PO Box 98, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.  Phone 360-378-5240.  Fax 360-370-5055. 


County Government: ( 350 Court St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Courthouse hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.


      Assessor:  PO Box 1519. Phone (360)378-2172.  Fax (360)378-4729.


      Auditor:  PO Box 638. Phone (360)378-2161.  Fax (360)378-6256.


      Clerk:  350 Court St. #7. Phone (360)378-2163.  Fax (360)378-3967.


      Treasurer:  PO Box 639. Phone (360)378-2171.  Fax (360)378-8853.


Genealogical Society:


Health Department:  San Juan County Health Department, ( PO Box 607, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.  Phone 360-378-4474.  Fax 360-378-7036.


Historical Societies: 

San Juan Historical Society, ( PO Box 441, 405 Price St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.      Phone 360-378-3949. Fax 360-378-3949. Email


      Shaw Island Library & Historical Society, PO Box 844, Blind Bay Rd., Shaw Island, WA

      98286-0844. Phone 360-468-4068.


Libraries - Academic:


Libraries - Public:

Libraries - Special:

      San Juan Washington Family History Center, 1013 Lampard Road, Friday Harbor, WA.  Phone 360-378-4162.


Museums and Historical Sites:

      Crow Valley School Museum, 2274A Orcas Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245.  Phone 360-376-4260.   Fax 360-376-3318.


Lopez Island Historical Museum, PO Box 163, 28 Washburn Pl, Lopez Island, WA 98261. Phone 360-468-2049. Email


      Orcas Island Historical Museum, ( PO Box 134, 181 North Beach Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245. Phone 360-376-4849. Fax 360-376-2994. Email

      San Juan Historical Museum, ( PO Box 441, 405 Price St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Phone 360-378-3949. Fax 360-378-3949. Email


      San Juan Island National Historic Park, ( PO Box 429, 125 Spring St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250.  Phone 360-378-2240. Fax 360-378-2615. Email


      The Whale Museum, ( PO Box 945, 62 1st St. N, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Phone 360-378-4710. Fax 360-378-5790. Email


State Archives Branch:

Northwest Region ( (Clallam, Island, Jefferson, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties). Goltz-Murray Archives Building, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9123.  Phone 360-650-3125.  Fax: 360-650-3323.  Email  Research hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - noon and 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.