Eastsound Walking Tour

Tour curated by: Clairessa Walker and the Orcas Island Historical Museums | 10 Locations

Welcome to Eastsound! This idyllic town was named for the East Sound that lies to the south and grew from a house built by Charles Shattuck after he settled on the land in the late 1860's. Shattuck’s home was later turned into an inn, now known as the Outlook Inn. Eastsound is now home to many inviting visitor lodgings including the Golden Tree Hostel which was once the family home of Michael Donohue, a Civil War veteran.

Long before Donohue or even Shattuck arrived on Orcas Island, the land was solely occupied by the Coast Salish. For generations they hunted the forests, and fished along the shores. They did not live in complete peace, however, because northern tribes often conducted violent raids against the island. Diseases brought by European explorers disrupted life for the Coast Salish and when white settlers arrived on Orcas Island they laid claim to the land piece-by-piece under the U.S. Government’s Homestead Act.

As Eastsound developed into the commercial center of the Orcas Island it saw many changes besides demographics. Several industries came and went - hunting, fishing, fruit farming and the lime industry all had their heyday. Churches and a fraternal hall sprouted up as well. Today, Eastsound is home to several thousand people and welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world every year. Come retrace the steps of early islanders and learn more about this friendly community at some of the town’s most historic places. Take a stroll through history following the points of interest on this tour to learn more about the people and places that make Eastsound one of the most charming locations on Earth.

Locations for Tour