On October 21, 1872, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany issued his finding: The international boundary line between the United States and British Canada would follow Haro Strait, and the San Juan Islands belonged to the United States. Both parties accepted the results of the binding arbitration. The English left English Camp, and swarms of American settlers came to pick over the remains that the English had left behind from their 12-year occupation of this site.
The English were gone, but not forgotten. Decades later, University of Washington history professor Edmund Meany arranged that historical markers be erected at English and American Camps. On Friday, October 21, 1904, a dedication ceremony took place for this monument at English Camp.
The monument marks the site of the British commander’s residence, which was at one time occupied by Captain George Bazalgette, who was later replaced by Captain William Delacombe. The building had burned down a decade before the monument ceremony took place. The monument was made specifically for its location at English Camp and has the following inscription:
Erected Oct. 21, 1904
By the Washington University State Historical Society.
As arbitrator William I Emperor of Germany decided the San Juan Case Oct. 21, 1872
First officer in charge Capt. George Bazalgette
British Camp 60-72
Pomp and circumstance ruled the day as hundreds gathered for the dedication. The San Juan Islander called it “a most notable occasion not only in the history of the county but the northwest.” The U.S.S. Wyoming fired a 21-gun salute. In addition to many, the ceremony was attended by the British Vice-Counsel at Seattle and Friday Harbor mayor C.C. Pratt.
Events of the day included:
• March from shore of Garrison bay to British camp.
• Presiding officer – Judge Cornelius H. Hanford, of the United States District Court.
• Unveiling of the monument: music by the Puget Sound artillery band – “America” or “God Save the King.”
• National salute by U.S.S. Wyoming.
• Address of welcome by Rev. C.C. Pratt, of Friday Harbor.
• “First United States Customs Officer at San Juan After the Arbitration Decision,” by Mr. Frank H. Winslow, president of the Washington Pioneers’ Association.
• Letter from Gen. Hazard Stevens, special commissioner under President Grant to adjust claims by British landholders on the San Juan Islands, read by I.A. Nadeau, of Seattle.
• Music by the artillery band.
• Greeting from Wisconsin State Historical Society by President Robert L. McCormick.
• Address by Hon. Bernard Pelly, British vice-consul at Seattle.
• Benedictions by Rev. R. L. Bussabarger, of Seattle.