Bainbridge Island, Washington

Coordinates: 47°39′19″N 122°32′6″W / 47.65528°N 122.53500°W / 47.65528; -122.53500
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Bainbridge Island, Washington
City of Bainbridge Island
Washington State Ferries ferry landing on Bainbridge Island
Washington State Ferries ferry landing
on Bainbridge Island
Flag of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Official seal of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Official logo of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island is located in Washington (state)
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island is located in the United States
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island is located in North America
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Coordinates: 47°39′19″N 122°32′6″W / 47.65528°N 122.53500°W / 47.65528; -122.53500
CountryUnited States
Named forWilliam Bainbridge
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • BodyCity council[1]
 • MayorBrenda Fantroy-Johnson[2]
 • City ManagerBlair King[3]
 • Total65.08 sq mi (168.55 km2)
 • Land27.61 sq mi (71.52 km2)
 • Water37.46 sq mi (97.03 km2)
200 ft (60 m)
 • Total24,825
 • Density916.1/sq mi (353.72/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code206
FIPS code53-03736
GNIS feature ID1512809[5]

Bainbridge Island is a city and island in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. It is located in Puget Sound. The population was 24,825 at the 2020 census,[6] making Bainbridge Island the second largest city in Kitsap County.

The island is separated from the Kitsap Peninsula by Port Orchard, with Bremerton lying to the southwest. Bainbridge Island is a suburb of Seattle, connected via the Washington State Ferries system and to Poulsbo and the Suquamish Indian Reservation by State Route 305, which uses the Agate Pass Bridge.


For thousands of years,[7] members of the Suquamish people and their ancestors lived on the land now called Bainbridge Island.[8] There were nine villages on the island; these included winter villages at Port Madison, Battle Point, Point White, Lynwood Center, Port Blakely, and Eagle Harbor, as well as summer villages at Manzanita, Fletcher Bay, and Rolling Bay.[7]

In 1792, English explorer Captain George Vancouver spent several days with his ship HMS Discovery anchored off Restoration Point at the southern end of Bainbridge Island while boat parties surveyed other parts of Puget Sound. Vancouver spent a day exploring Rich Passage, Port Orchard, and Sinclair Inlet. He failed to find Agate Passage, and so his maps show Bainbridge Island as a peninsula. Vancouver named Restoration Point on May 29, the anniversary of the English Restoration, in honor of King Charles II.[9]

In 1841, US Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes visited the island while surveying the Pacific Northwest. Lt. Wilkes named the island after Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the frigate USS Constitution in the War of 1812. Settlers originally used Bainbridge Island as a center for the logging and shipbuilding industries with the island being clearcut at least two times in its history.[10] The island was known for huge and accessible cedars, which were especially in demand for ships' masts. The original county seat of Kitsap County was at Port Madison on the island's north end.

In 1855, the Suquamish tribe relinquished their claim to Bainbridge Island by signing the Point Elliott Treaty.[11] The Suquamish agreed to cede all of their territory (which included Bainbridge Island) to the United States in exchange for a reservation at Port Madison and fishing rights to Puget Sound.[11]

A group of Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island wave the American flag and give the victory sign as they are forcibly sent to an internment camp, March 30, 1942.

The first generation of Japanese immigrants, the Issei, came in 1883. During World War II, Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island were the first to be sent to internment camps, an event commemorated by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, which opened in 2011.[12][13] They were held by the US government through the duration of the war for fear of espionage. A High-frequency direction finding (HFDF) station was established here by the Navy during the war. These radio intercept sites along the West Coast were used to track Japanese warships and merchant marine vessels as far away as the Western Pacific. The other West Coast stations were in California at Point Arguello, Point Saint George, Farallon Islands and San Diego.[14]

Since the 1960s, Bainbridge Island has become an increasingly affluent bedroom community of Seattle, a 35-minute ride away on the Washington State Ferries.[15]

The city has occupied the entire space of Bainbridge Island since February 28, 1991, when the 1.5-square-mile (3.9 km2) city of Winslow (incorporated on August 9, 1947), annexed the rest of the island[16][17] after a narrowly passed November 1990 referendum.[18] It officially remained the city of Winslow for several months, until November 7, 1991 at which time the city of Winslow was renamed the city of Bainbridge Island.[18]


Aerial view of the northern part of Bainbridge Island adjoining Puget Sound, with Agate Passage in center, Liberty Bay on the Kitsap Peninsula in the background, and the Hood Canal beyond
Aerial view of Bainbridge Island from the southeast, showing the Bainbridge Island ferry from Seattle making the first of two turns to bring it into Eagle Harbor, with Blakely Harbor to its left

Bainbridge Island was formed during the last ice age—13,000 to 15,000 years ago—when the 3,000-foot-thick (910 m) Vashon Glacier scraped out the Puget Sound and Hood Canal basins.

Bainbridge Island is in the Puget Sound Basin, east of the Kitsap Peninsula, directly east of the Manette Peninsula and west of Seattle. The island is about 5 miles (8 km) wide and 10 miles (16 km) long, encompassing nearly 17,778 acres (27.778 sq mi; 71.95 km2), and is one of Puget Sound's larger islands.[19]

Bainbridge Island shorelines border the main body of Puget Sound, as well as Port Orchard Bay, a large protected embayment, and two high-current tidal passages, Rich Passage and Agate Pass. The island has an irregular coastline of approximately 53 miles (85 km), with numerous bays and inlets and a significant diversity of other coastal land forms, including spits, bluffs, dunes, lagoons, cuspate forelands, tombolos, tide flats, streams and tidal deltas, islands, and rocky outcrops. The high point is 425-foot (130 m) Toe Jam Hill.[20]

On the Kitsap Peninsula, Bremerton and Poulsbo lie across the Port Orchard channel to the west, and the city of Port Orchard lies across Rich Passage to the south. Despite the short distance over water and significant commuting population between Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, proposals to construct a bridge have been resisted on the Bainbridge side for various reasons.[21]

The island is quite hilly and hosts the Chilly Hilly bicycle ride every February.

The ferry Wenatchee en route from Seattle to Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island can be accessed by motor vehicle, bicycle, or foot through two access points, both on Washington State Route 305. Bainbridge Island is connected to the Kitsap Peninsula by the Agate Pass Bridge, carrying SR 305 over Agate Passage at the island's northwest corner. The only other way off the island is by the Seattle–Bainbridge Island ferry, the Washington State Ferries service from the dock at Winslow in Eagle Harbor to Colman Dock (Pier 52) in Seattle. Numerous public right of way access points to water around the island also exist, officially called Road Ends.[22]


When the city of Winslow annexed the entirety of Bainbridge Island in 1991, it absorbed numerous named unincorporated communities. Most of these are still referred to by name.


Historical population
US Decennial Census[23]

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $88,243, and the median income for a family was $108,605. Males had a median income of $65,853 versus $42,051 for females. The per capita income for the city was $37,482. About 3.0% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.

The socioeconomic profile varies significantly between the rural parts of the island and Winslow, its urban center. In contrast to Bainbridge Island as a whole, Winslow is home to households with a wide range of incomes. In 2010, the census block group in which Winslow is located had a median household income of $42,000, less than half of the island's median household income and one-third of several of the island's wealthiest block groups, and also $10,000 less than national and statewide averages. More than half of Winslow households live in rental units, compared to 20% of households across the island.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census,[24] there were 23,025 people, 9,470 households, and 6,611 families residing in the city. The population density was 833.9 inhabitants per square mile (322.0/km2). There were 10,584 housing units at an average density of 383.3 per square mile (148.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.0% White, 0.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 9,470 households, of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 47.7 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.5% were from 25 to 44; 38% were from 45 to 64; and 16.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

2000 census[edit]

A bunch of yachts in a dockyard at sunset behind a walkway and a couple of bushes.
Panoramic view of Eagle Harbor from the Harbour Public House. The bridge in the foreground is part of the Harbour Marina, while the boats are in the Winslow Wharf Marina.

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,308 people, 7,979 households, and 5,784 families residing in the city. The population density was 735.6 inhabitants per square mile (284.0/km2). There were 8,517 housing units at an average density of 308.5 per square mile (119.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.88% White, 0.28% African American, 0.62% Native American, 2.40% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 2.96% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos, of any race, were 2.17% of the population.

There were 7,979 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.1% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.7% under the age of 18, 3.6% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 33.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.


Bainbridge Island has four centers of commerce: Winslow, Lynwood Center, Fletcher Bay (also referred to as Island Center), and Rolling Bay.[25] Winslow is the downtown core and has most of the shopping and dining. Lynwood Center on the south end of the island has several restaurants and a small hotel. Fletcher Bay (also referred to as Island Center) has a small grocery store and one restaurant. Rolling Bay is located on the east side of the island.[citation needed]

The local newspapers are the weekly Bainbridge Island Review, Kitsap Sun, and the Bainbridge Islander.

Chaval Outdoor, an outdoor gear company, was founded on Bainbridge Island.[26] The Buy Nothing Project was founded on Bainbridge Island in July 2013.[27]


Public schools[edit]

Bainbridge Island is served by the Bainbridge Island School District, which houses the following public schools:

  • Capt. Johnston Blakely Elementary School (K-4)
  • x̌alilc (Halilts) Elementary School (PK-4)
  • Ordway Elementary School (K-4) (offers the El Velero Spanish immersion program)
  • Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School (5-6)
  • Woodward Middle School (7-8)
  • Bainbridge High School (9-12)

BISD also offers home-based and student-directed educational programming under the umbrella of the Commodore Options School:

Private schools[edit]

  • Montessori Country School (PK-6)
  • Madrona School (Parent/Child, Preschool, Kindergarten, Grades 1-5)
  • St. Cecilia Catholic School (PK-8)
  • The Island School (K-5)
  • Carden Country School (K-8)
  • Hyla School (6-12)

The Puget Sound Naval Academy, formerly the Moran School, operated on the island from 1914 to 1933, and then again from 1937 to 1951.

Sports and recreation[edit]

In 2001, Bainbridge Island Little League were represented in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the Little League World Series. The island's high school lacrosse team has won state titles, the most recent coming on May 19, 2007.[28] In 2009, the Bainbridge High School Fastpitch team won the Washington 3A State Title. The team also played in the championship game in 2010. In 2011, 2012 and 2018, the Bainbridge High School Girls Lacrosse team won the state championship.

Pickleball was invented by the family of congressman Joel Pritchard at their summer home on Bainbridge Island in 1965.[29] It is similar to badminton and tennis, but played with paddles and a lightweight plastic ball.[30]

Aerial view of Restoration Point, with the Country Club of Seattle, and Blakely Harbor

Government and politics[edit]

Bainbridge Island has a seven-member city council. The members are elected to staggered four-year terms and appoint a city manager.[1]

Bainbridge Island is a stronghold of the Democratic Party. Jay Inslee, the 23rd governor of Washington, is a local resident, and represented it in Congress from 1999 to 2012.

Bainbridge Island is in Washington State's 23rd District and as of January 2020 is represented by Democratic state representatives Tarra Simmons (Democrat) and Greg Nance and Democratic state senator Drew Hansen. In the U.S. Congress Bainbridge is part of Washington's 6th congressional district and is represented by Democrat Derek Kilmer.[31]

In the 2008 Democratic primary (which in Washington state was not used for delegate appointment), Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton by a margin of 67.8% to 29.7%.[32] This was Obama's second-best performance in an incorporated municipality in the state, behind Yarrow Point. In the earlier caucus, Obama received 79.3% of delegates, Clinton received 19.8%, and 0.1% were uncommitted.[33]

Arts and culture[edit]

The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, which opened in 2013

The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art opened in June 2013 near the Winslow ferry terminal. It was developed by Cynthia Sears, who began collecting works of art made by island residents in 1989. The museum cost $15.6 million to construct and includes a 99-seat auditorium, a classroom, and other spaces. The building has 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of space and was designed to resemble the bow of a ship.[34]

The art exhibit "Pia the Peacekeeper" was placed in Bainbridge Island's Sakai park. Pia is #121 of an ongoing art portfolio by Copenhagen-based Thomas Dambo.[35] Dambo specializes in recycled art and is a self-proclaimed climate activist, with the project being entirely made of recycled materials. According to Bainbridge's parks and recreation site, Pia "embodies the essence of community and imagination."[36]

In popular culture[edit]

The fictional San Piedro Island in the 1994 novel Snow Falling on Cedars is based on Bainbridge Island. The novel's author, David Guterson, lives on the island and worked for ten years as a teacher at Bainbridge High School.

Mount Rainier seen from Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is the main setting of the 2021 novel You Love Me, the third installment in the You series by novelist Caroline Kepnes. Kepnes visited Bainbridge while writing the story and used the names of several local businesses.[37]

In Michael Crichton's 1994 novel Disclosure, protagonist Tom Sanders lives with his wife and two children on Bainbridge Island. Some scenes from the film adaptation later that year were filmed on the island, including at Bainbridge Ferry Terminal and Capt. Johnston Blakely Elementary School.

The epilogue of the 1996 film That Thing You Do! reveals that main characters Guy Patterson and Faye Dolan moved with their four children to Bainbridge Island, where they founded the fictional Puget Sound Conservatory of Music.

Bainbridge Island is featured in the first episode of the fifteenth season of the HGTV reality television series Island Life.[38] A local restaurant, the Big Star Diner (now known as the Madison Diner), is featured in the tenth episode of the first season of the Food Network series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.[39]

Photo gallery[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Bainbridge has the following sister cities:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Government | Bainbridge Island, WA - Official Website". Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "City Council". City of Bainbridge Island. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  3. ^ "Executive | Bainbridge Island, WA - Official Website". City of Bainbridge Island. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  5. ^ "Bainbridge Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  6. ^ "2020 Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  7. ^ a b "History & Culture – The Suquamish Tribe". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Miller, Jay; Ruby, Robert H.; Brown, John A. (April 1987). "A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest". The Western Historical Quarterly. 18 (2): 205. doi:10.2307/969592. ISSN 0043-3810. JSTOR 969592.
  9. ^ Roberts, John E. (2005). A Discovery Journal: George Vancouver's First Survey Season - 1792. Trafford Publishing. pp. 57–60, 67. ISBN 978-1-4120-7097-3.
  10. ^ Duncan, Don (May 24, 1990). "Logging Legacy -- Hoquiam's Timber Families Span The History Of The Lumber Industry In Washington". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  11. ^ a b "History & Culture – The Suquamish Tribe". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  12. ^ Seelye, Katherine Q. (August 5, 2011), "A Wall to Remember an Era's First Exiles", The New York Times
  13. ^ Nelson, Glenn (August 21, 2016). "As National Park Service turns 100, Seattle ranger personifies change". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 22, 2017. ...the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, built, maintained and supported by several community groups on Bainbridge Island. It gains its imprimatur as a satellite of the Park Service's Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho. The Park Service owns none of the Bainbridge property, but Beall (superintendent of Seattle's National Park units) kicks in $14,000 for a seasonal ranger.
  14. ^ Menzel, Sewall (2020). The Pearl Harbor Secret: Why Roosevelt Undermined the U.S. Navy. ABC-CLIO. p. 41. ISBN 9781440875861.
  15. ^ Ammons, David (May 3, 1998). "Islanders See Grounds for Concern in Local Starbucks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Smith, Carlton (November 7, 1990). "Bainbridge Island Incorporation -- Bainbridge Apparently Oks Annexation Into Winslow". Business. Seattle Times. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  17. ^ McKinney, John (August 15, 1993). "Bainbridge Island: A Seattle Retreat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Winslow changes its name to Bainbridge Island on November 7, 1991. -". Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  19. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  20. ^ Greg Slayden (2004), Toe Jam Hill,
  21. ^ Kornelis, Chris (December 28, 2007). "The Bainbridge/Bremerton Divide". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved November 12, 2023.
  22. ^ "Bainbridge Island Road Ends | Bainbridge Island, WA - Official Website". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  23. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  25. ^ "About Bainbridge Island | Bainbridge Island, WA - Official Website". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  26. ^ Ricker, Thomas (March 9, 2018). "Chaval's Supernova gloves are the superheated stars of winter sport". The Verge. Retrieved May 23, 2024.
  27. ^ "About". Buy Nothing Project. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  28. ^ "D1 final: Bainbridge Island Wins The Islands Battle". March-19. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
  29. ^ Eckstein, Bob (January–February 2024). "How the Obscure Sport of Pickleball Became King of the Court". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  30. ^ Lyons, Gil (August 24, 1990). "Pickle-ball: Founders of game say paddle sport simply is a barrel of fun". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  31. ^ Jerry Cornfield (November 6, 2012). "DelBene leading Koster for Congress in 1st Dist". Archived from the original on October 23, 2014.
  32. ^ "Presidential Primary, February 19, 2008". Kitsap County Auditor. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008.]
  33. ^ "BCNG Portals Page (R)". March 28, 2008. Archived from the original on March 28, 2008.
  34. ^ Upchurch, Michael (June 11, 2013). "A new, light-filled art museum for Bainbridge and West Sound". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on November 30, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  35. ^ "Thomasdambo". Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  36. ^ "Pia the Peacekeeper | Bainbridge Troll". Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  37. ^ "Caroline Kepnes, Author of 'You Love Me,' on Killer Joe's Next Chapter". Rolling Stone.
  38. ^ "Ferry to Bainbridge Island".
  39. ^ "Worth the Trip". Food Network.
  40. ^ William Yardley, "For Lawyer in Afghan Killings, the Latest in a Series of Challenging Defenses," The New York Times (March 25, 2012).
  41. ^ "Dove Cameron - Synchronicity One". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021. I was born in, I always say Seattle, Washington, but that's just because nobody knows where the fuck I'm from, which is a small island next to Seattle, called Bainbridge Island.
  42. ^ "Leeann Chin, 77". Kitsap Sun. March 17, 2010. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  43. ^ Shuey, Tyler (September 11, 2020). "Sounders goalie building 'dream home' in Blakely Harbor". Bainbridge Island Review. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  44. ^ "PBS". PBS.
  45. ^ "UW gets gift of $3 million | The Seattle Times".
  46. ^ "Biography of David Guterson". GradeSaver. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  47. ^ "David Guterson". Meet the Writers. Barnes & Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  48. ^ "The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman talks about Bainbridge, his new Netflix series". October 30, 2022. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  49. ^ Weber, Bruce (January 17, 2014), "Russell Johnson, 89, of 'Gilligan's Island' dies on Bainbridge", The Seattle Times
  50. ^ Kelly, Brian (January 27, 2014), "The Professor, Bainbridge Island's most famous resident, dies at age 89", Bainbridge Island Review
  51. ^ "Everest News". Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  52. ^ Holt, Gordy (July 19, 2002). "Jack Olsen, Crime Writer". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  53. ^ "Kiel Reijnen". Trek. December 10, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  54. ^ "The Real Thing". SPIN. July 1996. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  55. ^ Mat Luebbers. "Emily Silver". Archived from the original on October 1, 2008.
  56. ^ Michael Trimble, tenor. Trimble Vocal Institute.: The Trimble Vocal Institute is thriving on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where Michael Trimble and his wife, Cantor Pamela Trimble, relocated in May 2001.
  57. ^ Sarah Tuff. "I'm a Runner: Ed Viesturs". Runner's World. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  58. ^ "ESC". GradeSaver. Archived from the original on December 5, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2006.
  59. ^ "Ometepe Island Information - Everything About Traveling To Ometepe Island In One Place!". Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  60. ^ "Sister Islands-Islas Hermanas Bainbridge-Ometepe". Archived from the original on June 10, 2006. Retrieved June 6, 2006.

External links[edit]