Lummi Island History and Things To Do

A small island at the southwest corner of Whatcom County, Lummi Island has had its fair share of names over the years. Originally named Sa nam a o ( “High Mountain”) and Skallaham by the native Lummi people, this gorgeous island has also been known as Isla de Pacheco, McLoughlin Island, and Beach, Washington before being named after the local native tribe in 1853.

Due to its vulnerability to attack from the North, the Lummi Tribe never officially settled on this fruitful island but instead used it as a resource for food. The island provided great access to berries, clams, fish, and deer. This reputation of being a place to visit, eat well, and enjoy the land before returning home, is incredibly fitting given the island’s current culinary fame and tourist attractions.

The first permanent settler wasn’t until 1871; a whaler and California goldminer by the name of Captain Christian Tuttle. He occupied 320 acres of land with his wife and seven children. A decade later, the population would increase to include Frederick Lane, his wife, and twelve children. During his life on Lummi Island, he established a school district and was a postmaster who carried mail in a small boat from Fairhaven to Lummi.

In about 1902, Frank Taft and his large family came to Lummi Island and established an inn for boarders named Taft’s WIllows Resort. This family owned and run inn was the heart and soul of Lummi Island. Today, The Willows Resort is now known simply as The Willows Inn and continues its legacy of good food and a warm bed. It has matured into an elegant and world-renowned culinary experience and life-changing get away. While its hard earned acclaim has always been constant, it took a notable increase when a young chef by the name of Blaine Wetzel poured himself and his talent into this soulful establishment and brought international attention to its humble beginnings. To say that The Willows Inn is award winning, is a bit of an understatement.

Transportation to and from Lummi Island has always been by boat. Originally done by canoe, rowboats, and sailboats, it has thankfully developed into a much more convenient, and reliable method. Lummi has its own ferry that takes only 10 minutes, and departs every 20 minutes. While some might see a ferry commute as a hassle, the locals welcome it as time to relax, read, or appreciate the beautiful views. When compared to the harsh urban traffic that is a couple hours south, it’s easy to see why the ocean commute is a relaxing alternative. That is, as long as you are up to date on the most recent ferry schedule.

Lummi Island is the ultimate escape from a bustling life. Its serene nature and distinct sense of community is infectious. When it comes to Lummi’s population, there isn’t always a straightforward answer since almost half of the property owner’s are not permanent residents. The official population is 903, with the majority being over the age of 45 years old. Suffice it to say, life on Lummi is slow, spacious, and reasonably solitary.

This quaint town has an impressive bucket list for visitors and newcomers. Here are some of our favorites:

  • The Baker Nature Preserve is a 1.64 mile hike with a 1,060 ft. elevation gain to an overlook with stunning views of Rosario Strait and the San Juan Islands.
  • The Curry Nature Preserve is a more mellow stride through fields and forest with a garden and orchard project.
  • The Otto Preserve is one to check out and the Grange Hall is a mainstay for social get-togethers and events.
  • Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the market where music is enjoyed and fresh flowers, produce, and honey is purchased. Here you can connect with the art community and socialize with regulars.
  • With so many beaches, you can easily fill your weekend dance card with a new spot to explore.
  • Take a book with you from the Lummi Island Library and enjoy a breathtaking sunset.
  • While enjoying nature and relaxation could keep you infinitely occupied, the island’s overwhelming art scene, shops, spas, farms, and boat charters will fill any left over time you may find yourself with.

Lummi Island is a dream getaway, but to make it an everyday reality you’ll need just a few reliable amenities. Whether you’re joining the large percentage of residents who are self-employed and run an online business, you or your children are attending school, working remote, or keeping in touch with mainlanders, you need a reliable connection. PogoZone is proud to offer high-speed internet, phone services, and pzTV to Lummi Island and its residents. As we grow, we’ve expanded across the island to improve bandwidth to customers and consistency.

Kick your feet up with your favorite show, ready to play when you want it, with pzTV. So much more than just TV, pzTV gives you full access to HDTV, pause and rewind capabilities, DVR, parental controls, multiple device streaming, and out of home viewing when you’re on the go. Individual profiles for members of your household gives you personalized recommendations for what to watch next.

PogoZone believes strongly in supporting every inch of our community, and we feel a connection to areas like Lummi Island. We are a local internet and services provider who can offer Lummi residents the same small town friendliness and connection that it is known for, because we care about its members.

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