Whither Marrowstone?

Posted by Ken Campbell June 7, 2008 0 Comment 762 views

Marrowstone Island got its name from the intrepid sourpuss George Vancouver, who named the northeastern tip of the island Marrowstone Point, because of the mineral deposits he saw in the sandy bluffs that tower out above the water.

The island has a population today of around 850 and a single place of business, the Nordland General Store.

Indian Island, the sister island to the west of Marrowstone, is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy. Visitors are strictly prohibited and, although the Department of the Navy will neither confirm, deny or discuss the subject, the island base is often the last stop for nuclear submarines before they head out on patrol. Let’s just say that the final items usually loaded aboard these warships are among the highest priority military assets in the nation. Not hard to figure out why the Navy’s not looking for company up there.

Every January 1st at noon, at the dock in front of the general store, the local populace gears up for the annual Polar Bear Dip. Water temperature hovers in the low 40’s. Brain freezes are common among the participants. There are no fatalities on record, however.

A rambling, two-hour search of the internet has turned up no information on what exactly “Marrowstone” is. The rock that Vancouver saw, thought he saw, whatever, in the cliffs near the point: what is it by some other name? No luck yet. Research continues.

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