Camano Island

Not to be confused with Kamano Island.

A beach on Camano Island in Camano Island State Park

Camano Island (Washington)

Location Puget Sound
Coordinates 48°11′N 122°30′W / 48.183°N 122.500°W / 48.183; -122.500Coordinates: 48°11′N 122°30′W / 48.183°N 122.500°W / 48.183; -122.500
Area 39.77 sq mi (103.0 km2)
Length 15.6 mi (25.1 km)
Width 0.75–6.6 mi (1.21–10.62 km)
United States
State Washington
County Island County
Population 13358 (2000)
Pop. density 335.9 /sq mi (129.69 /km2)

Camano Island /kəˈmn/ is a large island in the Possession Sound portion of Puget Sound, located in Island County, Washington, between Whidbey Island and the mainland. The body of water separating Whidbey Island and Camano Island is called Saratoga Passage. Camano Island is separated from mainland Snohomish County by Davis Slough near the city of Stanwood. The island is reached via State Route 532 over the Camano Gateway Bridge in the northeast of the island.

There were 13,358 residents on the island as of the 2000 census, but the population peaks at 17,000 during the summer months with retired "snowbirds." The island has a total land area of 102.99 km² (39.77 sq mi), though it was larger before the Great Slide of 1825.

During the Last Ice Age the island, sound and land surrounding the sound was covered by a mile thick sheet of ice. As temperatures rose the glacier receding carving the island and leaving behind deposits of glacial till.[1]

Name origin

Camano Island is named for the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamaño. The original name of the island was Kal-lut-chin which in the language of the indigenous Snohomish tribe meant "land jutting into a bay".[2] They used the island as a base during the fishing and shellfish gathering expeditions.[1] Charles Wilkes, during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838–1842, named it MacDonough Island in honor of Thomas MacDonough for his victory of the Battle of Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. Following this theme, Wilkes named the body of water between Camano and Whidbey Island after MacDonough's flagship the Saratoga. When Henry Kellett reorganized the official British Admiralty charts in 1847, he removed Wilkes' name MacDonough and bestowed the name Camano, which the Spanish had originally given to Admiralty Inlet in 1790. Wilkes' name Saratoga Passage was retained.[3]

Jacinto Caamaño explored much of the Pacific Northwest going as farth north as what is now Alaska for the Spanish. He began his expedition far to the south in San Blas, Mexico.[4] In addition to its Snohomish name the island has also been known as Macdonough Island named for Thomas Macdonough a U.S. Navy officer during the War of 1812 and as Perry Island after an 1855 treaty between local Native Americans and Washington Territory governor Isaac Stevens.[4] The first Euro-American settlers on the island arrived at the time of the signing of the treaty.[2] Lastly the island was called Crow Island during the logging era that took place during the early 1900s.[4]


See also


  1. 1 2 "Camano Island State Park: Wildlife and Environmental Features". Washington State Parks. Archived from the original on 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  2. 1 2 "Camano Island State Park". Washington State Parks. Retrieved 2016-02-21.
  3. Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.
  4. 1 2 3 "Area History". Camano Island Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  5. "Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival". Snowgoosefest. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  6. "The Camano Island Mother's Day Art Studio Tour". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  7. "The Spring Art Show". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  8. "Annual Events". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  9. "Art by the Bay". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  10. "Third Annual Vintage Trailer Show". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  11. "Stanwood-Camano Community Fair". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  12. "Harvest Jubilee". Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  13. "Camano Island Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2015-04-29.

External links

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