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Whidbey Island
and The Legend of Deception Pass

Chapter Six

Fort Whitman on Goat Island Near the Pass

Seattle's Army Corps of Engineers was starting construction of Fort Whitman on what is now Goat Island, just east of Dugualla Bay. The question as to where to locate the Fort was debated, with some wanting the post to be located on either side of Deception Pass, while others wanted it on Hope Island. The issue was finalized when the Corps of Engineers gave the orders to stop stalling and get on with the fortification on Goat Island!

Harlan Eastwood Sr., who lived on Goat Island as a boy, wrote that he recalled in May of 1916 a large contingent of solders arrived who were to lay a minefield between Seal Rock and Dugualla Bay. In those days the mines were controlled by cables laid to the mine observation post and control station. But the "big news" of that day was that the Ballard Locks had been completed so boats could now travel from Lake Washington to Puget Sound!

Eastwood told of his early schooling, when his father would take him in a tender and drop him off on the dike just inside the "hole in the wall" from where he walked to school. Then when the weather turned bad, his mother and sister accompanied him into La Conner for the cold winter months.

In November of 1916, the famous "big snow" and unusually cold weather hit the fort. Four feet of snow fell. But when spring appeared, the little Army family moved back to Goat Island.

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