Sunday, April 19, 2009

English Camp

English Camp is located on the shores of Garrison Bay, near Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. It was established in the 1860s during efforts to solve the Pig War.

The old blockhouse was built over the bank edge and little has changed since. There's not enough wave action in this sheltered bay to cause much erosion - or even to form much of a beach for that matter. The beach is pretty muddy - wave action is necessary to winnow the fines out of a beach -- and the gravel is stable enough to grow barnacles and rockweed. Salicornia occupies the uppermost beach. The National Park Service has instituted some simple measures to reduce erosion - which generally work because they keep visitors from clambering down the bank.

This site is a little peculiar - the terrace on which the camp is built is too high. I should read some of the geo-archaeology reports done on this site - there was also a long native history prior to the Brits showing up - and find out whether they clarify the historical setting.

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