Historic Landmarks on San Juan Island
San Juan Island National Historical Park
This national park commemorates the Pig War and its peaceful resolution in two locations: English and American Camps, with historic buildings, interpretive centers, a formal garden, walking trails, shoreline, prairie, and British cemetery. American Camp is located on the southern tip of the island on Cattle Point Road. English Camp is located north, on West Valley Road.
Lime Kiln Point State Park
(also known as Whale Watch Park)
Located at 1567 Westside Road
A 36-acre state park that is considered one of the best places in the world to view orca whales from land. In 1919, the Lime Kiln Lighthouse was built; it is still used to aid navigation, as well as for orca whale research, interpretation and lighthouse tours. Nearby, several surviving lime kilns from the island’s once thriving lime industry were acquired by State Parks in 1996. One has been renovated and interpreted for the public.
Roche Harbor 1860-1910
Located at Northwest tip of San Juan Island
Formerly the site of a substantial lime quarry and kiln operation that lead to the creation of a company town, it is known today as Roche Harbor Resort. The resort is home to the Hotel de Haro and other historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Hotel de Haro was built around an existing log bunkhouse in 1887. It provided twenty-two guest rooms for owner, John S. McMillin’s, customers while they were at Roche Harbor negotiating the purchase of lime from the company’s lime works. Today, yellow pavers (fire bricks) from the lime kilns line the road in front of the hotel, and nine former “married employee” cottages from the McMillin-era are still used for guest accommodations.
Nestled in the woods nearby, stands the McMillin family mausoleum, a stone memorial comprised multiple architectural elements symbolizing the religious and Masonic symbolism McMillin held dear.
The chapel overlooking the harbor was built in 1892 by John S. McMillan as a Methodist Church. On the weekdays it was used as a schoolhouse for his employees’ children. The chapel was renovated in 1956 when Roche Harbor was purchased by the Tarte family. In 1960 it was dedicated as a Catholic church, Our Lady of Good Voyage, the only privately owned Catholic church in the United States.