Monday, June 6, 2011

Roche Harbor, San Juan Island

The resort of Roche Harbor. This is the family home and remaining company town from the largest limestone quarry west of the Mississippi. The hotel was built by John McMillan, the quarry owner. It housed customers and other guests (including presidents and actors). The main pier is from the original quarry structure.

The new docks. The service at Roche Harbor is the greatest. We called for a slip assignment and staff met us at the dock to help catch a line, give us directions to everything and to offer to send over the pumpout boat.

Looking to shore, the little houses in the back are what remain of the company houses built for families (they're now restored accommodations for the resort) - the single men lived in barracks.

This was originally McMillan's residence. It's now a restaurant where the food and drinks were really super. Crab bisque. Mmmmmm.

McMillian had a church built. It was bought and converted into a Catholic chapel some years ago. It is still privately owned.

One of the remaining lime kilns. The resort has done a great job of preserving the remains of the quarry and of putting up signs explaining the history and the process behind the limestone business.

This is the McMillan family mausoleum. In the center is a huge stone table with stone chairs all around it, one for each family member. Their names and dates are etched into the backs of the chairs and their ashes are interred in the seats. This was a great stop full of lovely hikes and full of all kinds of history. On the way to this site, you pass by a sculpture park. It's a huge field with sculptures scattered around the landscape for you to discover and to stumble upon. It was the best art museum I've ever been to and was the icing on the historical cake made up of Roche Harbor.

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