Located on Whidbey Island, and celebrating and preserving a rural working community, Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve is one of the most unique and beautiful places in Northwest Washington. In this one location, you can not only enjoy the plentiful outdoor activities, but also learn a lot about the development of this area, its rich history and how it continues to thrive today.
Created in 1978, the Reserve is the nation’s first historical reserve and is designed to protect what is a unique portion of rural Whidbey. Within its 17,572 acres are more than 400 historic buildings and 14 working farms, along with hiking trails, shoreline and two state parks.
The Island County seat of Coupeville is located within the reserve and has plenty of places to stay and restaurants for relaxation after a long day of exploration.
85 percent of the land is privately held, and parts of the Reserve harken back to the earliest days of European settlers, yet are still vibrant with active communities and farms.
Visitors will see a landscape that, while sometimes changing, does so with an eye on the past as well as the future. A hundred year old house may be down the street from one built this century, but the newer one will be done with a careful nod to the styles of another time.
The Sun is Shining at Ebey’s
Ebey’s Reserve, on Central Whidbey Island, receives only half the rain of nearby Seattle – sunny skies are often above while the rest of the region is covered in a layer of clouds. The reason lies to the west and the Olympic Mountains, whose peaks cause passing clouds to drop their water, creating a rain shadow. Ebey’s visitors and residents can comfortably enjoy exploring and experiencing this unique landscape.
Stories within a Cultural Landscape
Some stories of the Reserve’s history include Isaac Ebey, the first European-American settler to claim land on Central Whidbey Island before Washington became a state. Isaac wrote to his wife, Rebecca, in 1851 saying, “My claim is acknowledged by all to be one of the best in Oregon (Territory). I think it is the best claim on the Pacific. If you could see my potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbages, parsnips, peas, it would almost make your mouth water.”
The reserve is a partnership between the National Park Service and the people who live there. The Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is a partnership of local, state and federal governments and other agencies working together to preserve the heritage of central Whidbey Island.
A Unique Partnership
Ebey’s Forever Annual Conference
Every November we celebrate more than 30 years of protecting and sustaining Ebey’s Reserve. Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve tells important stories about our nation’s rural roots and the history of the Pacific Northwest. Experience Ebey’s through self-guided trips, discovering, exploring and celebrating an American cultural landscape.
Ebey’s Landing includes 25 square miles of a cultural landscape in the heart of Whidbey Island. Within the Reserve boundaries is the historic town of Coupeville, working farms, scenic open space, hiking trails, and two state parks. The Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is charged with management of the Reserve. The Trust Board is a partnership of local, state and federal governments working collaboratively to ensure the historic and natural resources of the reserve are protected for future generations.
Ebey’s Landing includes 25 square miles of a cultural landscape in the heart of Whidbey Island. Within the Reserve boundaries is the historic town of Coupeville, working farms, scenic open space, hiking trails, and two state parks. The Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is charged with management of the Reserve. The Trust Board is a partnership of local, state and federal governments working collaboratively to ensure the historic and natural resources of the reserve are protected for future generations. Changes in the cultural landscape will continue but in a way that respects the past.
Within the fast-growing Puget Sound region, Ebey’s Reserve has quickly become the only remaining area where a broad spectrum of Northwest history is still clearly visible and intact within a large-scale and partially protected landscape.
This pioneer spirit and vision continues to be a part of the working rural community we have today. The Ebey’s Forever Conference, held every November, features lectures, workshops and field trips presented, hosted and facilitated by the leading and compelling voices in sustainability, historic preservation, agriculture, education, interpretation, and other disciplines. For more information about the next conference details, visit their Facebook page…