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Whidbey Island
and The Legend of Deception Pass

Chapter One

Kellogg's History Of Whidbey Island

George Albert Kellogg, preeminent chronicler of Whidbey Island history, prepared as a Master's Thesis in Northwest History, an "informal history of a pioneer community" in 1934. A lack of time, space and authentic material was the excuse for omitting characters and incidents left out of the history, according to the author, who added that the history was primarily written as a source book concerning the Island, and not as a romance.

Joseph Whidbey, however, comes alive in Kellogg's book, when he stands as part of the Vancouver Expedition, on the shore of Penn's Cove. He is surrounded by 200 or more partly blanketed natives who stood in silent amazement, all eyes centered on a man in the uniform of Ship's Master in the Royal Navy of King George the Third, Master Joseph Whidbey. It was June 2, 1792.

The waistcoat of Master Joseph Whidbey was open, exposing his white manly chest. Proof to the Indians that his face and hands had not been whitened with ashes as they thought.

The Vancouver Expedition had left England April 1, 1791 on the ship Discovery, sailed around Cape Horn, wintered in the Sandwich Islands, then sailed up the coast into Puget Sound, where Vancouver took possession of the whole Sound region for the Crown.

Discovery anchored in what they called Strawberry Bay on Cypress Island near today's city of Anacortes. It was from here that Master Joseph Whidbey, in a ship's boat, found the narrow passage which we know as Deception Pass.

His discovery of the Pass determined the existence of the Island which Vancouver graciously named for Whidbey himself, and as "Whidbey's Island" it was charted. Master Whidbey penetrated the fast-moving waters of the Pass to prove that it was not a "Boca de Flon," so called by the Spanish explorer Eliza in 1791, a waterway thought to have been a river!

Kellogg, writing his Island history, said: "And now, in the first year of the New Deal, I hear, kind reader, that there is to be a bridge across the (Deception) Pass. What will become, I wonder, of the mystery, the shaded quiet, and age-old charm of those deep swirling waters and the shores that confine them? The lone ferry, chugging in occasional passage; that sense of detachment from a prosaic world when once you've gotten across to the Island!"

"Do you suppose the Island roads, congested with traffic, will invite the outdoor advertising companies to erect their billboards? Will these winding highways of dignified rural beauty end in a sacrifice to the brazenly flaunted values of clothing, cigarettes, and gasoline?"

Yes, Mr. Kellogg, these things might have happened, had not the Deception Pass State Park been built through the efforts of the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) of the Great Depression, and the desire of Islanders to retain the priceless beauty of waters, trees, and shorelines of Deception Pass and the State Park!

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