San Juan Island National Historical Park

Friday Harbor, Washington

W Valley Rd; also Cattle Point Rd, San Juan Island

Did you know that the U.S. and Great Britain almost went to war over a pig?

The Oregon Treaty of 1846 established the boundary between the U.S. and Canada in the Pacific Northwest, but its description was a bit fuzzy when it came to the San Juan Islands, which both the U.S. and Great Britain claimed.

When American/San Juan Island settler found a large pig rooting through his garden, he shot it. But the pig was owned by a Hudson's Bay Company employee who demanded compensation. British authorities threatened to arrest the American, so the Americans sought U.S. military protection.

Both sides established camps on the island, and each side mocked the other, attempting to goad the other side into firing the first shot. But saner heads in Washington DC and London prevailed, no shots were fired, and boundary dispute was peacefully resolved - twelve years later.

San Juan Island National Historical Park preserves the sites of the American and British camps and tells the story of the Pig War.

san juan island nhp friday harbor washington

San Juan Island National Historical Park (S99A0127)

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