Waldron, Washington

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Unincorporated community
Location within the San Juan Islands
Location within the San Juan Islands
Waldron is located in Washington (state)
Location within the state of Washington
Coordinates: 48°41′16″N 123°2′8″W / 48.68778°N 123.03556°W / 48.68778; -123.03556Coordinates: 48°41′16″N 123°2′8″W / 48.68778°N 123.03556°W / 48.68778; -123.03556
Country United States
State Washington
County San Juan
 • Total 4.6 sq mi (11.9 km2)
Population (2000)
 • Total 104
 • Density 23/sq mi (8.7/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 98297

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.

Waldron is in the San Juan Islands, but has no connections with the tourist industry and has a low cost of living. As of 1995 it is designated as a Limited Development District and commercial recreation facilities are prohibited. There is no ferry service, only one, county-owned dock, and no electricity or water supply.[1]


Waldron is located at 48.68778, -123.03556.[2] It is an island of irregular shape with a land area of 4.6 sq mi (11.9 km²).


This region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Waldron has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[3]

Climate data for Waldron, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
Average low °C (°F) 4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 97
Source: Weatherbase [4]


During a Spanish expedition in 1791, Francisco Eliza named the Island "Lemos."[5] 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.[6]

In the nineteenth century Waldron Island sandstone was mined for use in various buildings.[7] Coal deposits were also discovered on Waldron Island.[8] 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.[9] 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).[10]

In 1997 the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a drug raid on Waldron, confiscating 886 marijuana plants and arresting 7 people.[10]


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[11] 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.


  1. ^ Waldron Limited Development District Subarea Plan, 1995.
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ Climate Summary for Waldron, Washington
  4. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2014.  Retrieved on June 4, 2014.
  5. ^ 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 [1], pg. 47
  6. ^ 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 Archipelago." Edmund S. Meaney, History of the State of Washington, (1909), p.75 at: https://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.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ June Burn, Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography (June Burn, 1941), postscript
  10. ^ a b Hatcher, C. (2000 April 26). Trouble in an island paradise. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (accessed March 27, 2010)
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

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