Tag Archives: History

More images of Bethany Lutheran on its centennial


Photo on left courtesy the Bainbridge Historical Museum; photo on right by Tad Sooter.

Bainbridge Island’s Bethany Lutheran Church is marking its centennial this year. As part of the celebration a group of congregants spent Sunday afternoon revisiting the original Bethany Lutheran, a 1913 church house on Pleasant Beach Drive.

blogbethany5There are still a number of Bethany Lutheran members who attended the old church (Bethany relocated to Finch Road in 1961). Some were baptized there, confirmed there, and even married there. Today the church is a private residence.

Shirley Jenkins (formerly Ostrand) recalls when her extended family filled several pews at the Pleasant Beach church. In the early days the Ostrands drove a horse cart south from their Manzanita homestead to attend services.

Though the exterior of the building remains largely unaltered (see the photos above), the interior has been remodeled by a succession of owners. Jenkins offered to share a few pictures of how the church house looked inside when it was still a church:

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Island Road History | Day Road

Street of the WeekDay Road

Location: Runs east/west between Manzanita Road and Sunrise Drive

History: This year marks Eugene Leonard Day’s 137th birthday on May 28. Born and raised in Michigan, Day was drawn to the water early; he and his brother would often take their sailboat out on Lake Michigan. Day was just 12 when he headed to eastern Washington where his family grew wheat near Coulee City.

Day arrived on Bainbrdige Island in 1904 and settled in the wilderness across from Wilkes School on the corner of what is now Day Road (hence the name) and Madison Avenue.

He married fellow islander Maybel Parker and together they had five children: Ernest, born in 1905; Alice, born in 1908; Doris, born 1911; Truman, born 1915; and Walter, born 1920.

To support his growing family, Day used all that Bainbridge Island had to offer. He grew strawberries, farmed a bit and operated a shingle mill. He cut cedar and hauled it to the Port Madison Mill. Later in life, he used masonry skills learned from his father to design and construct some of the area’s finest stonework structures.

In his spare time, Eugene built and maintained a conservatory on his family’s property. By the time of his death in 1969, he had more than 200 subtropical and tropical plants, many of which he’d grown himself. His groves included luscious pineapples and bananas — unlikely fare in deed for the Pacific Northwest!

This occasional Islander series explores the history of island street names, as compiled by Elinor Ringland and fellow Bainbridge Island Historical Society volunteers.  If you have an island road story to share, email Ringland at elinorjoe@msn.com.

Beans Bight Road | Island Road History

Street of the week: Beans Bight Road

Location: Runs off Upper Farms Road, just west of Restoration Point.

History: The farmer who first claimed the land above Blakely Harbor had a name reminiscent of two foods: Reuben Bean. It’s unknown whether either snack had anything to do with his move west from Maine; Bean was killed in 1859 before he could begin using his 148.5 acres.

Thirty-one years later, the newly formed Washington State Legislature authorized the purchase of Bean’s land. The resulting Fort Ward sits upon Bean Point. It protects the island’s curving south shoreline, geographically known as a “bight.”

Sources: “Picture Bainbridge,” Jack Swanson. Published by the Bainbridge Historical Society.
“The Story of the Little Fort at Bean Point,” Ivan W. Lee, Jr. & Lois B. Lee.

This occasional Islander series explores the history of island street names, as compiled by Elinor Ringland and fellow Bainbridge Island Historical Society volunteers. If you have an island road story to share, email Elinor at elinorjoe@msn.com.

A boat tour of Ralph Munro’s Bainbridge

Ralph Munro remembers the day when torpedoes struck the Crystal Springs shore.

He also remembers a gray whale slipping past Rich Passage’s submarine nets, and how Civil War vets were once the land barons of Bainbridge

Munro, an island native and former secretary of state, was one of the guides aboard the historic steamer Virginia V on Sunday. The sold out four-hour tour was aimed at highlighting the history of 30 ferry landings around the island.

At the end of the trip I hopped off the boat sure that the story I’d write would be full of Munro’s comments. It wasn’t. Munro, I realized after looking over my notes, had said very little about ferries, the topic of the tour and the subject of my story. But he had plenty of colorful and interesting things to say, especially about the island’s west side.

For my story about the tour of ferry landings, click here.

For highlights from Ralph Munro’s steamboat tour of Bainbridge, read on…

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