Crane Island (Washington)
Crane Island is one of the San Juan Islands in San Juan County, Washington, USA. It lies just off the southwestern shore of Orcas Island, between it and the northwest corner of Shaw Island. Crane Island has a land area of 0.956 km² (0.369 sq mi, or 236.27 acres). The 2000 census reported a population of 20 permanent residents.
As of 2010 many of the original full-time residents of Crane Island have moved off the island and have been replaced by younger, part-time residents. The number of permanent residents on Crane Island may be as few as 2 or 3 persons.
Crane Island is the largest of a group of islands known as the Wasp Islands. The name was given by Charles Wilkes during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, in honor of the sloop Wasp, a sloop of war commanded by Jacob Jones during the War of 1812. The Wasp Islands are often locally called "the rock pile" due to the large number of rocks near the shorelines of the various islands. The Washington State ferry passes south of Crane Island through Wasp Passage on its trip to and from Orcas Island and San Juan Island.
Crane Island was first settled in 1879 by Walter P. Cadwell, a member of a pioneer family living near Pole Pass (a passage between the eastern side of Crane Island and Orcas Island). Cadwell operated a fruit and vegetable farm on Crane Island. In 1906 Cadwell sold the island to John C. Hammond of Seattle. Other activities conducted on Crane Island in the past have included a lime quarry on the west side of the island, a pheasantry business, sheep ranching and logging activities until 1959. (from "Around and About Crane Island", 8/1989)
In 1960, Island Properties began development and subdivision of Crane Island.
The center of the island is largely owned by the Crane Island Nature Preserve. The majority of the homes on Crane Island are located near the island's shore line. A small, private community dock is located on the east side of the island near Pole Pass. There are no public services on Crane Island. The original development of Crane Island included the construction of an airstrip. The airstrip is a private field limited to use by the island's residences. The airstrip consists of a 1,500-foot (460 m) gravel runway. Landing can be tricky because the prevailing wind is often across the runway and the wind can decrease suddenly when dropping below the tree tops.
- Crane Island: Blocks 2067 and 2068, Census Tract 9601, San Juan County, Washington United States Census Bureau
- Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3
- "Crane Island Sold": San Juan Islander, November 24, 1906, p. 1
- "Crane Island in the San Juans": Developer's brochure prepared by Richard B. Exton, Orcas, WA