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Month: June 2011

West-side Secrets of Bainbridge Island

Clandestine deliveries, secret distribution, muffled footsteps, furtive glances and dimmed running lights.  Just a few locals knew when to meet the shipments and who trusted allies were to receive the contraband.  The dock at Manzanita was the place. Prohibition (1919-1933) the timeframe. The goods?  Golden Canadian whiskey.  Ssshhhhhhh!  Tell no one!

Now, of course, the road-end at Manzanita where the dock and its warehouse once stood is a street-end picnic area with a lovely view sunsets over the Olympics — still colorful and full of character, but in with a different vibe.  Bring your camp chairs and set up for a glorious view.

The sleepy Manzanita/Seabold area holds several street end beach access points as well as walks past old farmsteads, remnants of a largely Norwegian community that farmed the fertile north end of Bainbridge Island.

Manzanita Park is full of trails, used often by equestrians.  If you are on human foot rather than horseback, it is suggested that the best time to walk through Manzanita Park is in September and October when the ground is dry, before the late-Fall rains return.  For specific directions, check those walks in Dave and Alice Shorett’s book, Walks on Bainbridge or go to the Bainbridge Island Parks District Trail Maps.

Just south of Manzanita lies the shallower Fletcher’s Bay, where just after the turn of the 20th century, cabins and tents tucked under cedar trees could be rented for the summer.  Foster’s store offered provisions and campers could swim or row in the protected bay, and hike the forest paths.

Every evening, according to the historical record, there was a beach fire for roasting marshmallows, and a place to tell tall tales and sing camp songs.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  No wonder, the resort was often filled to capacity, and such a popular destination that additional steamers were hired for special summer excursions.

Enjoy a relaxing stay on the Manzanita/Seabold and Fletcher Bay waterfronts at Fletcher Bay Landing and the charming Aunt Margie’s Beach on the shores of Little Manzanita Bay.

Resources consulted for this blog are:

  • Walks on Bainbridge by Dave and Alice Shorett, Lakestream Publications
  • Bainbridge Landings by Allen Beach, Driftwood Press
  • Picture Bainbridge by Jack Swanson.  Bainbridge Historical Society.

All are resources above are available from Eagle Harbor Book Co. (157 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island).  (206) 842.5332.

Photos provided by Aunt Margie’s Beach and Fletcher Bay Landing.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island.  Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.
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