Bainbridge Island, Washington

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Bainbridge Island, Washington
Washington State Ferries ferry landing on Bainbridge Island
Washington State Ferries ferry landing on Bainbridge Island
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island is located in Washington (state)
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island is located in the United States
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island (the United States)
Bainbridge Island is located in North America
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island (North America)
Coordinates: 47°39′19″N 122°32′6″W / 47.65528°N 122.53500°W / 47.65528; -122.53500Coordinates: 47°39′19″N 122°32′6″W / 47.65528°N 122.53500°W / 47.65528; -122.53500
CountryUnited States
 • 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)
 • Total23,025
 • Estimate 
 • Density834/sq mi (322.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)206
FIPS code53-03736
GNIS feature ID1512809[4]

Bainbridge Island is a city and island in Kitsap County, Washington, United States, located in Puget Sound. The population was 23,025 at the 2010 census[5] and an estimated 24,846 in 2018,[3] making Bainbridge Island the second largest city in Kitsap County.

In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine named Bainbridge Island the second-best place to live in the United States.[6]

In August 2013, Bainbridge Island was recognized by Google with an eCity Award.[7] This award recognizes the strongest online business community in each state.[8]

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


For thousands of years,[9] members of the Suquamish people and their ancestors lived on the land now called Bainbridge Island.[10] There were nine villages on the island; this 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.[9]

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.[11]

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. Bainbridge Island was originally a center for the logging and shipbuilding industries. 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 north end of the island.

In 1855, the Suquamish tribe relinquished their claim to Bainbridge Island by signing the Point Elliott Treaty.[12] 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.[12]

A group of Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island wave the American flag and give the victory sign as they are forcibly evacuated 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.[13][14] They were held by the US government through the duration of the war for fear of espionage. Many Filipinos who assisted the Japanese farmers were left to operate the strawberry fields, which they did successfully. Filipino farmers went north to locate First Nations families to work in the fields. Many romances arose from the berry fields, and the birth of the Indo-Pinos emerged.[citation needed]

The city of Bainbridge Island has occupied the entire island since February 28, 1991, when the former city of Winslow (around 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of land on Eagle Harbor, incorporated August 9, 1947) annexed the rest of the island.[15][16] Since the 1960s, Bainbridge Island has become an increasingly affluent bedroom community of Seattle, a 35-minute ride away on the Washington State Ferries.[17]


The ferry Wenatchee en route from Seattle to Bainbridge Island
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 located within the Puget Sound Basin, east of the Kitsap Peninsula, directly east of the Manette Peninsula and west of the city of Seattle. The island is approximately 5 miles (8 km) wide and 10 miles (16 km) long, encompassing nearly 17,778 acres (71.95 km2), and is one of the larger islands in Puget Sound.[18]

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 is characterized by 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.[19]

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.

The island is quite hilly and is known for its popular Chilly Hilly bicycle ride every February. This ride has been the unofficial start to the bicycling season in the Pacific Northwest since 1975.

Bainbridge Island is connected to the Kitsap Peninsula by the Agate Pass Bridge, carrying SR 305 over Agate Passage. The only other public way off the island is by the Seattle–Bainbridge ferry, the Washington State Ferries service from the dock at Winslow in Eagle Harbor to Colman Dock (Pier 52) in Seattle.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201824,846[3]7.9%
US Decennial Census[20]
2018 Estimate[21]

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 census[2] of 2010, 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 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, which is centrally located, has a small grocery store and one restaurant. Rolling Bay, on the east side of the island, is a small commercial center with Bay Hay and Feed, the Bud Hawk Post Office and several commercial shops.


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)
  • Capt. Charles Wilkes Elementary School (K-4)
  • Ordway Elementary School (K-4)
  • Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School (5-6)
  • Woodward Middle School (7-8)
  • Bainbridge High School (9-12)
  • Eagle Harbor High School (9-12)

Private schools[edit]

  • Montessori Country School (PK-6)
  • Madrona School (PK-8)
  • St. Cecilia Catholic School (PK-8)
  • The Island School (K-5)
  • Carden Country School (K-8)
  • Hyla Middle School (6-8)

Sports and recreation[edit]

The community has been especially concerned with preserving green space and keeping a tight control over development, both residential and commercial. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, city and park district are instrumental in maintaining island open space.

Sports programs are successful. 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 is known for numerous state titles, the most recent coming on May 19, 2007 over rival Mercer Island.[22] The island's high school sailing team has been the reigning Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association[23] district double handed team racing champions for the past five seasons and is ranked 12th in the nation.[24] 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 2018 the Bainbridge High School Girls Lacrosse team won the state championship.

Bainbridge Island also invented pickleball, a game similar to badminton and tennis played with paddles and a lightweight plastic ball.

Points of interest[edit]

Aerial view of Restoration Point, with the Country Club of Seattle, and Blakely Harbor
  • Space Craft (a non-profit arts event presenter)
  • Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
  • Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial at Pritchard Park
  • Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
  • Bainbridge Performing Arts
  • Battlepoint Park
  • Bloedel Reserve
  • City Hall
  • Country Club of Seattle
  • Downtown Winslow
  • Fay Bainbridge Park
  • Fort Ward
  • Fort Ward Park
  • Frog Rock
  • Gazzam Lake
  • The Grand Forest
  • IslandWood, a non-profit outdoor learning school providing environmental education[25]
  • Joel Pritchard Park
  • Kids Discovery Museum (KidiMu6)
  • Meadowmeer Golf and Country Club
  • Point White Dock
  • Strawberry Hill Park
  • West Sound Wildlife Shelter, a non-profit wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center
  • Wing Point Country Club

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.[26]

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 September 2014 is represented by Senator Christine Rolfes (Democrat), Representative Sherry Appleton (Democrat) and Representative Drew Hansen (Democrat). In the U.S. Congress Bainbridge is part of Washington's 6th congressional district and is represented by Democrat Derek Kilmer.[27]

In the 2004 Presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 72.87% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 25.58%.[28] In 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain by a margin of 77.79% to 20.79%.[29]

In the 2009 election, Bainbridge Island passed Referendum 71, the "Everything but Marriage" gay rights bill, with 79.40% of the vote.[30] It received 53.15% statewide. Bainbridge Island was one of the few municipalities in the state where the measure outperformed Obama.

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%.[31] 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.[32]

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.

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.[33]

Photo gallery[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Bainbridge has the following sister cities:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Bainbridge Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  5. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), Bainbridge Island city, Washington". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "Money Best Places to Live 2005". Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved June 13, 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Google eCity Awards Retrieved December 16, 2013
  8. ^ "Google Congratulates America's eCities: Google eCity Awards recognize the strongest online business community in each state". August 2013. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "History & Culture – The Suquamish Tribe". Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b "History & Culture – The Suquamish Tribe". Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  13. ^ Seelye, Katherine Q. (August 5, 2011), "A Wall to Remember an Era's First Exiles", The New York Times
  14. ^ Nelson, Glenn (August 21, 2016). "As National Park Service turns 100, Seattle ranger personifies change". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 22 November 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.
  15. ^ Smith, Carlton (November 7, 1990). "Bainbridge Island Incorporation -- Bainbridge Apparently Oks Annexation Into Winslow". Business. Seattle Times. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  16. ^ McKinney, John (August 15, 1993). "Bainbridge Island: A Seattle Retreat". LA Times. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  17. ^ Ammons, David (May 3, 1998). "Islanders See Grounds for Concern in Local Starbucks". LA Times. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  19. ^ Greg Slayden (2004), Toe Jam Hill,
  20. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  21. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "D1 final: Bainbridge Island Wins The Islands Battle". March-19. Archived from the original on 21 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  23. ^ "Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association". Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  24. ^ "Interscholastic Sailing Association(ISSA)". Archived from the original on August 26, 2007.
  25. ^ IslandWood homepage/
  26. ^ City of Bainbridge Island
  27. ^ DelBene leading Koster for Congress in 1st Dist. | - Local news Archived October 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^]
  32. ^ [4]
  33. ^ [5]
  34. ^ William Yardley, "For Lawyer in Afghan Killings, the Latest in a Series of Challenging Defenses," New York Times (March 25, 2012).
  35. ^ "Leeann Chin, 77". Kitsap Sun. 2010-03-17. Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2015-09-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^
  38. ^ PBS
  39. ^ NWsource
  40. ^ "Biography of David Guterson". GradeSaver. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  41. ^ "David Guterson". Meet the Writers. Barnes & Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  42. ^ "Research Day: Urban Legend Purge". Defective Yeti. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  43. ^ "The Professor's Place". Archived from the original on 2002-11-01. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  44. ^ "Everest News". Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  45. ^ Holt, Gordy (2002-07-19). "Jack Olsen, Crime Writer". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
  46. ^ "The Real Thing". SPIN. July 1996. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  47. ^ Swimming Archived 2008-10-01 at the Wayback Machine at
  48. ^ 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.
  49. ^ Sarah Tuff. "I'm a Runner: Ed Viesturs". Runner's World. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  50. ^ "ESC". GradeSaver. Archived from the original on 5 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  51. ^ "Ometepe Island Information - Everything About Traveling To Ometepe Island In One Place!". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  52. ^ "Sister Islands-Islas Hermanas Bainbridge-Ometepe". Archived from the original on 10 June 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-06.

External links[edit]