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7 Pieces Of History Near Bainbridge Island, WA

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Bainbridge Island, located in the Puget Sound just west of Seattle, is a small but historically significant island that has been home to a variety of noteworthy events over the years. From the arrival of the first European explorers to the present day, here are seven of the most significant historical events that have taken place near Bainbridge Island.

1. The Arrival of the First Europeans: The first European explorers to visit Bainbridge Island were Captain George Vancouver and his crew, who arrived in 1792 while mapping the Pacific Northwest. They named the island after one of their crew members, William Bainbridge, who would go on to become a famous naval hero during the War of 1812.

2. The Treaty of Point Elliott: In 1855, leaders from 22 Native American tribes signed the Treaty of Point Elliott with the United States government, ceding much of their land in the Puget Sound region in exchange for a reservation and other benefits. Bainbridge Island was part of this treaty, and the Suquamish Tribe still maintains a strong presence on the island to this day.

3. The Arrival of Japanese Immigrants: In the early 20th century, Bainbridge Island became home to many Japanese immigrants who worked in agriculture and fishing. Despite facing discrimination and racism, the Japanese community thrived on the island until they were forcibly removed and sent to internment camps during World War II.

4. The Battle Point Massacre: In 1856, a group of Native Americans led by Chief Kitsap attacked a group of white settlers at Battle Point on Bainbridge Island, killing several people. The massacre was one of many conflicts between Native Americans and settlers in the region, and it contributed to ongoing tensions between the two groups.

5. The Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet provided transportation and commerce throughout the region. Many of the small steamboats that made up the fleet stopped at Bainbridge Island, connecting it to other communities around the sound.

6. The establishment of Fort Ward: During World War II, the US Army built Fort Ward on the southern end of Bainbridge Island as part of the coastal defense system. The fort housed more than 800 soldiers, and it played a pivotal role in defending the Puget Sound region from potential attacks.

7. The Formation of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust: In 1989, a group of concerned citizens formed the Bainbridge Island Land Trust to protect and preserve the island's natural resources and open spaces. The land trust has since protected more than 1,600 acres of land on the island, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the island's natural beauty.

Overall, Bainbridge Island has a rich and varied history that reflects the complex interactions between Native American tribes, European explorers and settlers, and other diverse groups who have called the island home over the years. By remembering and learning from these historical events, we can better understand the island's past and work towards a brighter future for all who live there.
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