Washington July 13, 2019
Most People Don’t Know This Secluded Washington Island Has An Illegal History
Blake Island is a small island in the Puget Sound, located near Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island. Largely preserved as Blake Island State Park, it’s a popular destination for local kayakers and tourists. However, it used to be known as Smuggler’s Island, and for good reason.
Blake Island State Park is a peaceful and relaxing place, sitting just north of Vashon Island.
It's best known for being a destination with Argosy Cruises, both for kayaking and for the Tillicum Excursion, which includes a 4-5 hour dinner cruise, a Native American storytelling show, and island exploration time.
Once used as a camping ground by the Suquamish tribe, the island is known as the birthplace of Chief Sealth, for whom the city of Seattle was named.
In 1792, British explorer George Vancouver found the island while exploring the Puget Sound. In 1841, Lt. Charles Wilkes named it Blake Island for George Smith Blake, the officer in charge of the United States Coast Survey at the time.
And while most of this island's history isn't like any other's in the Pacific Northwest, Blake Island happens to be harboring a bit of a secret...
... during America's Prohibition period, it was used as a place of refuge for bootleggers smuggling alcohol from Canada.
Boats hiding the liquor used to sneak in, taking refuge on Blake Island.
The booze was brought ashore, where guards looked after it until it was ready to be relocated.
At night, people would swim out to collect the booze, or they'd sneak it out in a smaller boat. The island simply served as a secret holding spot.
Of course, those days are long gone now that we can legally imbibe here in America.
Still, it's fascinating to think that such a peaceful island was used for such sneaky purposes.
Have you ever been to Blake Island? If not,
this guided kayak tour is a great way to see it.