|• Total||4.6 sq mi (11.9 km2)|
|• Density||23/sq mi (8.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
Waldron, or Waldron Island, is an unincorporated community in San Juan County, Washington, United States. Although Waldron is not specifically tracked by the Census, the ZIP code is 98297, and this ZIP code is coextensive with Waldron Island. Neither Waldron nor Waldron Island can be considered an official name; locally, they are used interchangeably, although the post office name is Waldron.
The population was 104 at the 2000 census.
Despite its location in the San Juan Islands, Waldron has no connections with the tourist industry and has a low cost of living. It lacks power and water supply.
Waldron is located at 48.68778, -123.03556. It is an island of irregular shape with a land area of 4.6 sq mi (11.9 km²).
During a Spanish expedition in 1791, Francisco Eliza named the Island "Lemos." However the current name of the island was set in May 1841 when Wilkes Expedition officer Lieutenant Case of the Vincennes and his party "made a careful survey of Puget Sound from Vashon Island southward". During this survey, one of the San Juan islands was named after one or other of a pair of Waldron brothers, Richard Russell Waldron or Thomas Westbrook Waldron.
In the nineteenth century Waldron Island sandstone was mined for use in various buildings. Coal deposits were also discovered on Waldron Island. Homesteaders settled the island in the nineteenth century, and the Krumdiack Homestead, built in 1890, is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1941 Waldron resident June Burn featured Waldron prominently in her autobiography Living High and described her family's experience building a log cabin on the island. Her daughter-in-law, Doris Burn, also wrote several books while living on the island. The last store on Waldron closed in 1942 and no regular ferry service has been offered to the island. Since 1976, Waldron has been a 'limited development district'. No large-scale mining of natural resources is allowed. No marinas or breakwaters can be built. No large homes or paved roads or public utilities, residents declared in the early 1990s with a lopsided vote (82 percent).
Note: because of the exceptionally small population of Waldron, estimates extrapolated from samples of small percentages of the residents are statistically unreliable. For example, while the total population is reasonably established, it is unlikely that the median incomes reported here are accurate.
As of the census of 2000, there were 104 people, 62 households, and 27 families residing in the unincorporated town. The racial makeup of the city was 95.19% White, 0.96% Asian, and 3.85% from two or more races.
There were 62 households out of which 33.87% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.3% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.5% were non-families. 51.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.68 and the average family size was 2.30.
In the unincorporated town the population was spread out with 13.5% under the age of 18, 1.9% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 37.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 116.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 136.8 males.
The median income for a household in the unincorporated town was $18,452, and the median income for a family was $25,000. 56.1% of the population and 31.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 45.5% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Quality of life
The 1995 "Waldron Limited Development District Subarea Plan" described the island as follows:
While Waldron is frequently characterized by a lack of “amenities”, it is rich in attributes highly valued by the majority of its residents and property owners. Fields and forest, rock and beaches, clean air and water are a part of everyday life, as are litter-free, unpaved roads with minimal motor-vehicle traffic.
Children have a sense of almost complete safety, as is almost unheard of in this day and age. Privacy and quiet prevail: the sounds of engines and machinery with their attendant pollutants, physical hazards and disruptions do not predominate in any area. With no retail outlet, commercial entertainment, or outdoor-area lighting, Waldron nights are dark.
The small size of the resident population allows for intimate participation in matters affecting the community. The limited opportunities for earning money are to a great extent offset by the limited opportunities for spending it, and by ways to meet one‘s needs in creative, nonmonetary ways. There is no ferry service. There are no public utilities. There are no public facilities to attract people to Waldron.
There is only one county dock. Commercial recreation facilities are prohibited and development restricted under Waldron’s designation as a Limited Development District. Waldron is not a wilderness, but the environment is relatively unspoiled.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- The Early Exploration of Inland Washington Waters: Journals and Logs from Six Expeditions, 1786-1792 By Richard W. Blumenthal, Contributor Richard W. Blumenthal, Published by McFarland, 2004 ISBN 0-7864-1879-6, ISBN 978-0-7864-1879-4 , pg. 47
- Historian E.S. Meaney doesn't appear to have initially realized there were two Waldrons whose name could have been lent to this island: "Thomas W. Waldron, the captain's clerk, had his name given to an island in the San Juan Archipelego." Edmund S. Meaney, History of the State of Washington, (1909), pp.74-5 at: http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofstateof00meanuoft#page/74/mode/2up accessed 5 September 2010. However there was another Waldron on the trip, the same author writes in a later book. Waldron Island 'was probably intended for Thomas W. Waldron, Captain’s Clerk of the brig Porpoise of the expedition. However, it is possible that two men were honoured in the one name as R. R. Waldron was Purser of the Vincennes, another vessel of the expedition.’ (Meany, E. S. (1923). Origin of Washington Geographic Names, University of Washington Press, Seattle. as cited in Patrick J. M. Waldron, "Waldron Family History", June 30, 2009, pp.5, 8 at: http://www.binary.co.nz/WALDRON3.PDF accessed 5 September 2010). Meaney doesn't seem to have realized the two were brothers.
- The School of Mines Series of Rock Specimens from the State of Washington By University of Washington, Washington (State). University. School of mines, School of mines, Published by C.W. Gorham, public printer, 1906 accessed on Google Book Search on September 22, 2008
- A History of the Puget Sound Country: Its Resources, Its Commerce and Its People: with Some Reference to Discoveries and Explorations in North America from the Time of Christopher Columbus Down to that of George Vancouver in 1792 By William Farrand Prosser, Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903
- June Burn, Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography (June Burn, 1941), postscript
- Hatcher, C. (2000 April 26). Trouble in an island paradise. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (accessed March 27, 2010)
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Waldron Island: Blocks 2085 thru 2091, Census Tract 9601, San Juan County, Washington United States Census Bureau