Bainbridge Island

Description

Bainbridge Island is a small city in western Washington state. It’s connected to Seattle by ferry. The forested Bloedel Reserve has landscaped gardens and trails. Nearby, coastal Fay Bainbridge Park and Campground features an east-facing beach with views of the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, in an eco-friendly building, offers rotating exhibitions by contemporary local artists.

In 1792, English explorer Captain George Vancouver spent several days with his ship HMS Discovery anchored off Restoration Point at the southern end of Bainbridge Island while boat parties surveyed other parts of Puget Sound. Vancouver spent a day exploring Rich Passage, Port Orchard, and Sinclair Inlet. He failed to find Agate Passage, and so his maps show Bainbridge Island as a peninsula. Vancouver named Restoration Point on May 29, the anniversary of the English Restoration, in honor of King Charles II. In 1841, US Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes visited the island while surveying the Pacific Northwest. Lt. Wilkes named the island after Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the frigate USS Constitution in the War of 1812. Settlers originally used Bainbridge Island as a center for the logging and shipbuilding industries. The island was known for huge and accessible cedars, which were especially in demand for ships' masts. The original county seat of Kitsap County was at Port Madison on the island's north end.

Bainbridge Island was formed during the last ice age—13,000 to 15,000 years ago—when the 3,000-foot-thick (910 m) Vashon Glacier scraped out the Puget Sound and Hood Canal basins. Bainbridge Island is located within the Puget Sound Basin, east of the Kitsap Peninsula, directly east of the Manette Peninsula and west of the city of Seattle. The island is approximately 5 miles (8 km) wide and 10 miles (16 km) long, encompassing nearly 17,778 acres (27.778 sq mi; 71.95 km2), and is one of the larger islands in Puget Sound. Bainbridge Island shorelines border the main body of Puget Sound, as well as Port Orchard Bay, a large protected embayment, and two high-current tidal passages, Rich Passage and Agate Pass. 

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