Guemes Island Community Center Association

Enriching and Connecting Our Island Community


 Island Happenings

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Guemes Island, Skagit County, WA, USA

Ferry Cams

Click here for full-size views

(Find out if there's a 2nd 11:15am sailing)

Ferry Haul-Out May 14 Through June 12

⛴ Catch the Ferry

Ferry times are provided as a courtesy and without guarantee.

Ferry departs from Guemes approximately 8 minutes after the listed times below. Crossing time approximately 5 minutes. Round-trip time approximately 20-25 minutes.

*Wednesday 9:15 AM to Guemes and 2:00 PM from Guemes are hazardous materials runs only. No other vehicles or passengers may travel on these runs.
▼ Click here to show times

Community Messages

Scholarships Awarded to Guemes Students

The Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Committee will be hosting an awards ceremony on Sunday, June 13 at 2:00 PM at the Guemes Community Church. Two Guemes high school seniors, Lily-Rose Day and Danni Snell, and one junior, Adam Bosch, will be honored with scholarships. Friends, family, and the community at large are invited to attend. As a courtesy to others, please wear a mask.


In 1991, Betty Crookes co-founded the Guemes Gold Scholarship Program with members of the Guemes Island Women’s Club. Guemes Island high school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the $500 to $1500 scholarships. Applicants are evaluated on their academic record, their concern for the environment and community, and their involvement with activities or hobbies outside of school.


The scholarships are funded through donations and previously through fundraising activities like the Fall Festival. When the Women’s Club disbanded years ago, the fundraising tasks were passed on to the Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) that also recently disbanded. COVID restrictions suspended the Fall Festival in 2020. Generous community donations have kept this worthwhile program going. The dedicated Scholarship Committee consists of former educators who understand the value of honoring students and encouraging their efforts toward higher education.


The Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, maintains the funds for the program, but the promotion and selection of recipients continues independently by the Scholarship Committee. Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to GICCA, 7549 Guemes Island Road, Anacortes, WA 98221, Attn: Guemes Gold Scholarship. Questions about the program can be directed to Janice Veal 360-293-3721.


Congratulations to our outstanding Guemes students!


Reminder: GICCA does not hold public in-person or virtual Association meetings during the months of June, July & August.

Ferry Haul-Out

Haul-out: To temporarily move a vessel from the water to a dry dock; typically to allow for inspections, preventative maintenance, and any necessary repairs.


M/V Guemes in dry dock at Foss Shipyards in Seattle, 2019

Photo credit: Skagit County Ferry News, Apr 2021


May 7 Update From Skagit County:
Passenger-only service to accommodate 40 passengers per trip


Additional updates, Anacortes temporary parking plan (including map), Skagit Transit Shuttle Information, etc., can be found on the County's 2021 Guemes Island Ferry Haul-Out web page.

How to Plan for the Ferry Haul-out

By Edith Walden


On May 14, when the M/V Guemes checks in at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland for maintenance and inspections required by the U.S. Coast Guard, it will have been more than two years since the last ferry haul-out. While longtime islanders are familiar with haul-out preparations and procedures, none of us have experienced a haul-out conducted during a worldwide pandemic. We may be joined this year by residents who have never experienced the haul-out joys and rituals of island living, and those of us with aging brains might benefit from some reminders. Here’s what you might need to know.

Due to the social distancing requirements for COVID-19, Skagit County requested a three-month extension from the Coast Guard so that islanders would be sailing on the open deck of the passenger-only vessel during warmer, drier weather. The lowest bidder could only accommodate dates that spanned Memorial Day.


The peak season schedule will begin early, on the first day of the haul-out, Friday, May 14; peak season fares begin on May 20.


For information about the haul-out, see
To receive email alerts and updates about the ferry, sign up at


Click here to read the rest of the article, with valuable tips.

Fire Dept Haul-Out News

What you need to know from the Guemes Island Fire Department


The Fire Department wants to remind everyone that we will still be providing emergency services as normal and if you are experiencing a medical or fire emergency you should call 911 as always. That being said, we do want to encourage everyone to be diligent during this time. If you're feeling sick or believe you're having a medical emergency, don't wait to call for help.


We also want to remind everyone that we will not have the support of mutual aid vehicles from neighboring agencies. Therefore, we ask your diligence in helping us prevent any fire incident. The Guemes Island Fire Commissioners passed a unanimous resolution and we are partnering with the Skagit County Fire Marshal who has issued a Modified Burn Ban during the Ferry Haul out (May 14 - June 12).


Click here to read the full article, including information about emergency air evacuations and burn ban details.

Still Need a COVID Vaccination?

If you're still looking for a COVID vaccination Skagit County Public Health wants to help. The Health Department has provided on-island mobile clinics for homebound individuals or those who cannot easily travel. Undocumented residents can also receive vaccinations.


Please contact the Health Department's main line at 360-416-1500 to set up an appointment. Or you may contact Katherine Chapman, Communicable Disease Public Health Nurse, 360-399-0348,

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Featured Artist: Lynn Prewitt

Meet Lynn Prewitt, the Guemes Island resident who transforms mixed media into beautiful pieces of art. This creative soul also goes beyond visual artwork by writing and putting her creative energies into improving our island paradise.

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The Help You Want

The Resources You Need

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources for help – help with alcohol or drugs, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, feeling depressed or anxious, or having trouble affording basic needs. To find these resources, or if you could use someone to talk to who is caring, compassionate, and confidential, visit:
No judgment. No pressure. Just resources for help.

Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 Updates

Given the evolving status of this outbreak, it's important that you stay informed. The following links provide the latest updates and helpful information:


Meet Your Neighbor

David and Paul on the beautiful bench made for the Dog Woods entry meadow by John Hoenselaar
Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer -

Photo and narrative provided by David Wertheimer

Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer have been island residents since 1998 when they visited Guemes after reading Valerie Easton's article "The Secret Gardens of Guemes" in the Seattle Times. Paul and David purchased a home at Kelly's Point where they spent nearly every weekend since, commuting back to Seattle for work on weekdays.  With David's retirement in 2019 and a shift to remote work during the pandemic, they now consider Guemes their permanent year-round home.

Paul is the Executive Director of the Wilburforce Foundation, which works to protect and preserve North American wildlands.  David retired after 13 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served in various roles on the Pacific Northwest team and as Director of Community & Civic Engagement.  Both have been actively involved in island organizations over the years.  Paul served on the Community Center board for 7 years, David served on the board of Friends of Guemes Island, is an occasional speaker at the Guemes Island Church, and both have been involved in various land conservation campaigns, including the efforts to save Guemes Mountain and to permanently protect Kelly's Point.  David has also stepped in to serve as a Commissioner for the Guemes Island Fire Department after the tragic and untimely death of Frank Crawford.

A few notes on Dog Woods:  After years of walking past the wooded parcels on West Shore Road on a regular basis, Paul and David decided in 2020 to acquire 120 acres of woodlands, portions of which had, in the past, been heavily logged.  The land is designated as forest land.  They call the property "Dog Woods," both to honor the Samish history of the island as a place where this First Nation community raised their unique Woolly Dogs, and to celebrate the dogs that populate and enjoy the island today.  Paul and David are working with local naturalists Peter Dunwiddie and Samantha ("Sam") Martin to learn more about the unique features of the Dog Woods environment, and to determine the best ways to nurture the forest lands and restore its full health. Their primary goals in the years ahead are to remove invasive weeds, restore and enhance the native plants, and maintain a trail network to welcome community access.  In time, they plan to donate the land to Skagit Land Trust.  (For additional information, see:

David and Paul planting paper birches at Dog Woods, a restoration forest (ARF!)

Photo Credit: Mary Lascelles

Dog Woods is truly becoming a community effort.  There are numerous community members involved with Dog Woods that we'd like to acknowledge.  These individuals include, (in no specific order):
  • Jimmie and Lu Lemieux (who are building the Dog Woods trail network)
  • Rick Petrick
  • John Hoenselaar
  • Sam Barr and Eric Licata
  • Manuel, Lynette, Ioanna, Elia and Aiden Mattke
  • Jim, Joanne and Lisa Cieko
  • Dyvon Havens and Jep Burdock
  • Rebecca and Bud Ullman
  • Terri and Joe Gaffney
  • Barbara and Randy Schnabel
  • Jeff Hale and Mary Parker-Hale
  • Robert Olson
  • Marc Beaudet
John Strathman, Adventure During A Pandemic - John Strathman is no stranger to memorable moments on the water. He’s been kayaking in the Pacific Northwest for years. Since moving to Guemes Island in 2014, John has kayaked in the 2015 inaugural  R2AK “Race to Alaska” (Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK), rowed in two “SEVENTY48s,” (Tacoma to Port Townsend), and completed a solo kayak adventure from Ketchikan to Guemes. His most recent leisurely trip around the San Juans with his friend, Tim, was memorable in its own way.

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NOTE: The stalwart Odyssey has been repaired “good as new” and is safely tucked away, awaiting next year’s “moments.”

Tom Sternberg, GICCA Board Member -
The GICCA Board welcomes its newest Board member, Tom Sternberg, who was recently appointed to fill the vacant Trustee position. Like many of us, Tom and his partner Virginia’s visits to Guemes grew into a desire for a peaceful, rural place to make their full-time home. The pandemic changed their work situations and working from home became the required option. A small tight-knit rural community with an active community center was just the place they were looking for.

Tom quickly made friends with neighbors and fellow ferry passengers. Community involvement is important to Tom and he was interested to learn more about our island organizations and activities. A recent opening on the GICCA Board provided him with the opportunity to bring his work and hobby experience to the Community Center Association. He answered the call and submitted a letter of interest. The GICCA Board voted unanimously to appoint Tom to the Board.

Currently a high-end web and software developer, Tom has also worked in the restaurant industry in both staff and management positions. He started his own commercial landscape business overseeing five condominium complexes. Acting as the general contractor, Tom built two homes and remodeled three in the Seattle area. These varied and useful skills will be invaluable to the Association and to our island community. Tom’s enthusiasm and willingness to be involved are his greatest assets. He has already hit the ground running and is helping to design GICCA’s new “sister” website that will feature the many artists of Guemes Island.

We welcome Tom and Virginia and their sweet dog, Trigger, to our community
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You – An Encore Performance - This month we are, once again, featuring YOU because you deserve an encore!  YOU are a neighbor. YOU are a part of what makes us a community.

In the recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Newsletter, Public Health Matters, we are reminded that “the word community can mean different things." It can describe a geographic area, a group of people with shared interests, or a feeling of teamwork and fellowship.” At the core is YOU.

The Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) is a part of the CDC and they outline ways that YOU can create community where you live. The following are excerpts and links from the CPR’s “create community” newsletter.

Care for Each OtherTake care of yourself and others.
The greatest strengths of a community might be its people and their relationships with each other. People who are personally prepared, invested, and socially connected are often better able to protect themselves and more willing and ready to help others through adversity.

Improve AccessSupport the needs of the whole community.
Community health preparedness and resilience is not achieved until everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as prepared as possible. It is the shared responsibility of the whole community to find ways to make preparedness more inclusive, available, and achievable for everyone.

Lead by ExampleInspire others’ healthy behaviors.
Get in the habit of being a preparedness role model for your family and in your community. Modeling healthy behaviors, attitudes, and habits, like getting a seasonal flu vaccine and frequent handwashing, can inspire others to do the same.

Get InvolvedTake action to help improve everyone’s health and resilience.
People who are resilient and ready to care for their neighbors can have positive and even life-saving impacts on their neighbors and in their communities at large. Response training and exercises, donations, and volunteerism are just a few of the many ways that you can help yourself and others prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency.

The Guemes Island Community Center Association has recently posted, on our website and on island bulletin boards, a list of our Top Ten Volunteer Opportunities. YOU can help to “create community.” There are many ways, even during a pandemic, to safely connect with or inspire others, to become more resilient, and to become more involved. Whether it is just neighbor helping neighbor or through greater involvement with island organizations, your efforts will build “community.”
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Dog Island Dogs, Then and Now - The dogs of “Dog Island” are carrying on the long tradition of canine companions on Guemes Island. Few bear resemblances to the historical “wool dogs” raised by the Samish tribes in the late 1700s and early 1800s, except for one island favorite, Dakoda, or “Koda”, as he's best known.

The now extinct Wool Dogs were described as looking like the modern-day Spitz and stood about 17 inches high with long white fur. They were raised in “flocks” on Guemes and other nearby islands and kept separated from other village dogs in order to preserve their prized white fur. They were shorn like sheep and the fur was woven into blankets used as valuable trade items. As island settlement displaced the native tribes, the weavers switched to more accessible sheep wool and the Wool Dogs became extinct.

One-year-old Koda joined the family of Wendy Saver and Dave Rockwood in 2012 as a rescue from a local animal shelter. It was one of those “meant-to-be” moments when the planets were aligned and the time was right. Koda found his new family and a happy life on Guemes Island. He was “Best Dog” at Wendy and Dave’s wedding on North Beach in 2018.

Although not genetically related to the Samish Wool Dogs, Koda has become an island mascot and a source of smiles for many as he greets ferry passengers and crew and, before the pandemic, made regular appearances at island events. The pandemic is difficult for such a social dog (and for social humans, as well) but Wendy and Dave appreciate Koda’s companionship as he helps them adjust to social distancing and fewer opportunities to gather with friends. A romp on the beach or a roll in the dirt will have to suffice for now. Our furry, or woolly, or feathered, finned, scaled, or otherwise, pet-friends are helping us all through these difficult times.

If you'd like us to feature your animal companion and share your story, please contact us at
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Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis Retires -

In July, Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis retired after 12 years of service to our community.

Gerry’s history with the Guemes Island Fire Department is chronicled in archived issues of the Guemes Tide (see In the October 2010 issue of the Tide, Edith Walden writes that Gerry and his wife Lorraine “first moved to Guemes from Utah in 2004, when Gerry retired as a maintenance planner with Kimberly-Clark. They constructed their home on Samish Street in 2005. In November 2006, a storm threw a huge fir tree through their bedroom roof at 5:30 a.m., just missing Lorraine’s head. Gerry remembers the impressive help they received from then Fire Chief Carl Meinzinger and fire volunteers Bob and Nancy White. In 2008, at age 66, Gerry joined the Guemes Island Fire Department after seeing a recruiting flyer.” Gerry’s life was anything but boring after that.

The required firefighter training and rigorous emergency medical technician (EMT) training program are challenging for even young recruits. At age 66, Gerry excelled, graduating as class valedictorian at the recruit academy. Gerry was certified as an EMT in January 2011 after many hours of home study, classroom training, exams, and volunteer shifts in an ambulance and an emergency room.

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District 17 appointed Gerry Francis to the assistant chief’s position in 2011. In 2014, Gerry was promoted to chief. As a first responder to many medical and fire emergencies on Guemes, Chief Francis has provided compassionate care to those in need. He has led his dedicated team of volunteers in protecting home and property from fire, as well as mitigating storm damage until other emergency responders can arrive.

Mentoring new firefighters strengthens every fire department while providing continuity of service. Gerry has mentored newly appointed Fire Chief Olivia Snell, who served as assistant chief for the past five years.

A grateful community wishes to thank Gerry Francis for his many years of service. In addition, we thank Gerry’s wife, Lorraine, who is also stepping away from the fire department where she served as Public Information Officer and “Chief Chef.” They will both be missed on the front lines.
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Joan Palmer Knows How To “Bee” Kind -

... submitted by Tom Deach


Early this spring I received a call from Joan Palmer on South Shore Road. She was looking for someone who might till up a small wild flower bed for her. As a result, after meeting with Joan and her friend, Heather Miller, I agreed to do what I could to help her out. About a week later, in between the cold rains which dominate our spring days, I was able to fit the job in. When I arrived I was a little apprehensive to begin working because neither Joan, nor Heather, was there to supervise the extent of the tilling, but I also knew Joan was also apprehensive about being too “late for wildflowers.” I went to work finishing the job just as the next rain squall moved in. I was disappointed with the final product, which was an area about 25' X 40', and quite dismal looking; a patch of dirt, chopped up grass and of course an abundance of Guemes rocks overshadowed by the gray sky above, which darkened a gloomy Guemes channel. As I pushed the tiller back towards my truck, I noticed how beautiful her manicured gardens would become as the weather warmed, renewing life. Joan called me when she arrived home very pleased with the new garden area, stating it was just as she had imagined. “What do I owe you?” Remembering what it looked like when I left it, I couldn't put a value on it. We agreed a donation to the Guemes Island Historical Society would satisfy both parties.

Fast forward to mid-June. Another call from Joan: “You need to see what we created, I'm so grateful for your help.” Chuck Farrell helped too, she added. He had smoothed out and tamped down the tilled area in preparation for the seed. I promised to stop by and take a look. While walking from the truck I couldn't help but notice the garden's transformation since my last visit, trees and flowers blooming with birds and bees everywhere. Along the pathway I was greeted by California poppies, a bright orange glow, a seeming reflection of the sun.  
Volunteer California Poppies
Continuing along, flowers to my left; to the right a garden area with veggies, trees and of course, more flowers snuggled by the inevitable deer fencing. And then, a few steps further on, there they were: wildflowers galore. No more chewed up grass and dirt mixed with rock; in it's place white and pink and blue and yellow get the picture: spectacular!  
The Garden
Joan and Heather enjoying the view
Walking with Joan, she names the flowers in her gardens, introducing each of them to me. She smiles at both the flowers and me. She understands that I know nothing about flowers, but we share a common attraction to the scene surrounding us, the fragrances, bright colors and beauty that the flowers bring. We are not alone. Birds and bees of all manner abound, with butterflies beginning to arrive as summer approaches. Joan's dream is for wildflower gardens to cover our island. Joan's wish is to share her garden with these pollinators and two legged islanders as well. She would love for visitors to see it and perhaps become inspired to create their own joyful habitat for our all important friends, the birds, butterflies and of course, the Bees!  
Joan pointing at the bees
Covid 19 has upset the way we visit, however with careful social distancing and wearing masks the gardens could be viewed in a responsible, safe, way. If you would like to see this spectacular garden, please contact Joan. Email: or by phone: 360-202-2540 to make an appointment for viewing.
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2020 Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Winners -

Photo L to R: Anna Prewitt, Jefferson Butler, Rivers Olson

Three outstanding Guemes Island high school students were recently awarded this year’s Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarships. Anna Prewitt received the Gold Award of $1500, Jefferson Butler received the Silver Award of $1000, and Rivers Olson received the Bronze Award of $500. Instead of the normal awards reception at the Church honoring the students, this year COVID-19 restrictions forced members of the Scholarship Committee, wearing masks, to visit the homes of each winner to present their certificate and monetary award. Congratulations to all three!

Anna: I am happy to be the recipient of a Guemes Gold Scholarship. I'm a senior at Anacortes High School for a few more weeks. I enjoy debate, playing the clarinet and piano, tennis, and journalism, as well as volunteering in the community. I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue my education, which this scholarship helps make possible. I will pursue my passions in chemistry and English next year at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After college, I hope to go on to earn a graduate degree and continue learning as a teacher.

Jefferson: I am a senior at Anacortes High, set to graduate on June 17. Throughout my high school years, I have tried on many hats, and some have fit better than others. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was a dedicated member of the robotics team at the high school – learning basic software development and machine shop skills. I also played the French Horn and Trumpet under three different band directors. In my later high school years, I dedicated myself more to my future plans – looking at post-secondary education paths and careers. Currently, I plan to join the crew of a yacht as soon as I'm done with classes. Next fall I hope to attend Claremont McKenna College or Harvey Mudd College. I am so incredibly lucky to have a community that supports my dreams so passionately. Thank you Guemes, and thank you Betty Crookes!

Rivers: Hello, I am Rivers Olson. I have lived on Guemes Island all my life and have grown up in the community. I really enjoy being outside and engaging with friends and family. I was homeschooled up until my sophomore year and excelled when I went to high school. I am attending Western Washington University this coming fall and plan on majoring in a health profession to help people. I will use the Guemes Gold scholarship to help pay for tuition, books, and school supplies. I would like to thank the Guemes Gold Committee and Betty Crookes for this opportunity.


Betty Crookes co-founded the Guemes Gold Scholarship Program in 1991 along with members of the Women’s Club. When the Club dissolved, other island organizations and individuals made sure the program continued. The Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) hosted the program for eleven years and now passes the program to the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA). A hardworking and dedicated Scholarship Committee continues the logistical work and fundraising. The committee members include co-chairs Janice Veal and Jan Ebersole, Julie Hopkins, Betsy Ockwell, Carol Pellett, and Susan Rombeek.

Applicants for the scholarships must be Guemes residents and are evaluated on successful progress toward completion of their secondary education, concern for the environment and community, and their involvement in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, hobbies, artistic interests, and jobs. They are asked to provide a school transcript or grade level examination if homeschooled as well as two letters of recommendation.

You can help to keep this worthwhile program going by making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Committee through the Guemes Island Community Center Association. Checks should be made out to GICCA with “Guemes Gold Scholarship” in the memo field and mailed to GICCA at 7549 Guemes Island Road, Anacortes, WA 98221. Checks can also be given to members of the Scholarship Committee.
Read bios from the students
Humble Family Legacy of Support - For several years the Second Century Vision Committee has been studying the future needs of the Guemes Island Community Center, Guemes CERT, the Guemes Library, and the Guemes Island Historical Society. Representatives from each of these organizations, as well as the Guemes Church, make up this committee.

Our community has grown considerably since the Community Center Hall was constructed in 1914. The Hall needs more space for community events as well as for emergency shelter. Our library could easily fill a new space twice the current size. The Historical Society dreams of permanent museum space for its many historical and archived items. The plan is to revitalize the Community Center’s capabilities, add much-needed parking, and provide areas both inside and out to display our island’s cultural history. The expansion plan will honor the past and embrace the future as it meets the changing needs of our community.

The Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) is pleased to announce that the first milestone on the road to expansion has been reached. At the end of 2019, Clive and Diane Humble donated 1.26 acres of land north and adjacent to the existing Community Hall parking area. This generous donation gives us the green light to forge ahead with more comprehensive planning.

This recent land donation by the Humbles is not the family’s first gift to Guemes Island. In 1958 a letter from Helen Vonnegut, the Church Secretary, thanks George and Gyneth Humble for donating a strip of land along Guemes Island Road to the Guemes Congregational Church. This strip became the parking area that runs from the Church to the Community Hall.

In 2004 the Humbles again donated land to the community. Gyneth Humble, Clive’s mother, donated land for what became the “new” parking lot north of the Community Hall. This was a sorely needed addition as increased parking needs at community events had outgrown the roadside parking strip. Glen Veal, with Clive’s support, helped facilitate this donation.

Now, 15 years later, the third donation is complete. This acquisition continues the Humble Family legacy of support for our Community Center with each donation building on the last. As the Community Center adapts to the changing island demographic and plans for the future, it remains one of Guemes Island’s most prized assets.

The Humble family has a long history on Guemes Island. George and Gyneth Humble moved from Seattle to the island in 1948 when Clive, their only child, was two years old. George and Gyneth both worked for the Copeland Lumber Company until their retirement. Clive attended the Guemes Island School through 4th grade. Mrs. Miles taught all four grades and it was difficult for some island children to excel educationally. Clive found the transition to the Anacortes school system challenging initially but managed to catch up with his peers as evidenced by his later academic life. Even though Clive now attended Anacortes schools, the Humbles continued to live on Guemes Island and actively supported the community.

George passed away in August of 1975, but Gyneth continued to live on Guemes, her home for 44 years. After suffering two strokes, Gyneth moved to Mountain Glen Retirement Home in Mount Vernon where she resided nearly 20 years until her death in October of 2011.

Clive resided on the island, off and on, until 1971. Like his parents, Clive also worked for Copeland Lumber, but only for a short time. He became enamored with boating and began working for Bryant's Marina of Anacortes. He was also employed at Robinson's Marina before it was demolished by a fierce north wind during a winter storm. After graduating from Anacortes High School Clive attended Skagit Valley Community College and graduated from the University of Puget Sound. After graduation, Clive worked for Prairie Market Building Supply of Mt Vernon for 16 years. He eventually finished his career in Seattle after working another 21 years for Builders Hardware and Supply.

Clive married Diane in 1972 and moved off the island. Diane was a teacher in the Sedro Wooley school district for five years until their children, Julie and Mark came along. They were her primary focus until they entered public school. Diane then returned to teaching. She spent 21 years at Lincoln View Elementary in Mount Vernon, capping off a long career of public service to area school children. In recent years Clive and Diane have been committed to caring for Diane's mother in her declining years. They reside midway between Anacortes and Mount Vernon. The family still maintains property on the island to this day.

Clive and Diane’s most recent gift to the Community Center Association continues the Humble Family legacy of support for the Guemes Island community. The residents of Guemes, both current and future generations, will continue to enjoy a vibrant Community Center thanks to the generosity of the Humble Family.
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The Pelletts – A Lifetime Of Commitment - Carol and Howard Pellett know the meaning of commitment through 60 years of marriage and 25 years of community involvement on Guemes Island. Both, now 80 years old, are stepping back from most of their island leadership roles.

Stepping away from leadership roles does not mean the Pelletts will sit back and rest on their laurels. They plan to remain strong supporters of island organizations, projects, and personal causes. There will be more cherished time with family while enjoying their ocean view from North Shore. More time to knit, to walk the dog, and to watch the birds on the beach.

Carol was born in Washington DC and her family moved to southern California when she was a child. Carol and Howard met as teenagers while attending rival high schools in the Los Angeles area. Howard still speaks fondly of seeing the young blue-eyed beauty in the blue dress and Carol remembers his black convertible automobile, the dream of every southern California teen at the time. The couple found their soul mates in each other and married at age 20. Their family grew as they moved from California to Washington state with a brief stint in Alaska. Carol and Howard’s five boys still live in Washington, all east of Lake Washington.

Carol fell in love with Guemes Island in the late ’70s and she convinced Howard that they should purchase property on North Shore in 1979. After a career in administration at Evergreen Hospital, Carol was the first to retire and she moved to their new home on the island. Howard’s retirement followed in 1999 when he ended his long career as a senior agent with the IRS. The Pelletts wasted no time getting involved in the community and making many new friends. Howard credits Carol with setting the stage for their many years of service to the island.

The Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) was an established island organization in need of new leadership. The Pelletts stepped in and have carried forward GIPOA’s work as a 501(c)(4) non-profit for over 20 years. GIPOA oversees the Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Program that was formerly sponsored by the Guemes Women’s Club. Guemes students are recognized for their scholastic achievement and awarded scholarships that are funded by donations from individuals and organizations. Proceeds from the Fall Festival also help to fund this worthwhile program. Howard and Carol will hopefully pass the torch to new leaders as they step down from GIPOA this summer.

Shortly after Carol’s arrival on Guemes she saw the need for a library on the island. The ferry runs ended in the early evening and residents longed for access to a local library. Carol and Howard took on the challenge and helped raise the $40,000 it took to build a library addition onto the Community Hall. The Guemes Library is now brimming with books and resources and dreaming of future expansion. This 501(c)(3) library is run by a nine-member library board of which Carol is the president and Howard, treasurer. These positions are also being vacated, leaving big shoes to be filled.

Carol worked for 16 years as the secretary for the Guemes Island Fire Department. Howard again helped with fundraising that paid for the solar panels on both the Fire Hall and the Guemes Church. In past years they both served on the boards of the Guemes Island Environmental Trust (GIET) and the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA). Carol can be found at the Church on most Wednesdays with a quilting group that stitches handmade quilts for donation to charities. She is seldom without her knitting and it is a lucky person who has a pair of her handknitted socks.

The Pelletts will continue their involvement with the Guemes Chamber Music Series. Carol serves on the board as treasurer. Howard helped facilitate gaining 501(c)(3) status for this organization and he also serves as a current board member.

With Carol’s love and support, Howard was able to overcome some personal challenges in his life. This led him to his volunteer work as a group facilitator with SMART Recovery, a self-management and recovery training program for alcoholics. For many years Howard traveled weekly to the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, WA and the Criminal Justice Center in Everett where he counseled inmates. Howard no longer travels for this work but he continues facilitating SMART Recovery at a weekly meeting in Anacortes. He feels that helping people find their own path to recovery can be a lasting solution.

The Guemes community thanks Carol and Howard for their many years of dedicated service and for setting a high bar for community involvement.
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Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer

David and Paul near the Dog Woods trailhead on West Shore Rd., Guemes Island


Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer have been island residents since 1998 when they visited Guemes after reading Valerie Easton's article "The Secret Gardens of Guemes" in the Seattle Times. Paul and David purchased a home at Kelly's Point where they spent nearly every weekend since, commuting back to Seattle for work on weekdays.  With David's retirement in 2019 and a shift to remote work during the pandemic, they now consider Guemes their permanent year-round home.

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Porch Replacement Coming to the Hall

During the pandemic closure, your GICCA Board has been busy with essential business and maintenance projects at the Community Center Hall. COVID-19 restrictions prevented regular social activities but enabled maintenance projects that would normally impact Hall usage. After multiple bids, a failed grant request, and several design options, the GICCA Board has voted to proceed with replacement of the cracked concrete front porch and repair/revision of the sidewalk from the Hall to the Church.


The new graded ADA compliant walkway will eliminate the front steps, shorten the library steps, and allow for a handicap drop-off zone with a barrier-free entrance to the Hall. Please refer to the April 2021 GICCA Minutes here for more details.


Guemes Islander Adam Mimnaugh and Mimnaugh Excavation are generously donating a major portion of the labor and project cost. Work is scheduled to begin the 2nd week of June.


During the estimated two weeks of construction, access to the Library during their Monday hours of 2:00 to 4:00 will be through the north door of the Hall only. Please return books during operating hours only as the book return will not be accessible. WiFi can still be used from the north parking lot.


GICCA wishes to also thank architect Art Petersen for his design work and consultation.

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Art Initiative Update

Guemes Island Art (GIA) continues to evolve with new ideas and new content. Check out the expanded “Classes” page and the new “Community” page where folks can share ideas or announcements as well as a bit of history. Have you ever wondered about the leaf sculpture (play structure) at Schoolhouse Park? Learn more here. GIA is still on the lookout for additional artists on the island!

2021 Social Connections

Staying connected in safe ways with friends and family is more important now than ever. GICCA has suggestions for virtual activities with friends, educational talks and virtual learning, and limited scheduled outdoor activities. Check out the Social Connections tab at the top of this Home page.

Are you tired of being cooped up during the pandemic? Feeling depressed, lonely, or sluggish? Then consider a beautiful island walk! Guemes Walks is your new community walking program, part of GICCA’s Social Connections outreach.


Each regularly scheduled walk is offered mid-day between Mondays and Fridays over easy terrain, which usually covers only 1-2 miles. No reservations are required—just show up. Do check the calendar at just in case there's a weather cancellation. Also, remember to be safe—wear a mask and space yourself six feet apart. Well behaved, leashed dogs are welcome.


Mary Hale, who spearheads the walking program, says “I’m excited about Guemes Walks because I enjoy the idea of islanders staying connected through nature walks, and if anyone’s day during the pandemic can be brightened in this way, it’s all worth it to me.” So far, walking attendees have been averaging about four people and one dog per walk.


Guemes Walks depart from trailheads located at the new Dog Woods Trail (7690 West Shore Drive), Guemes Mountain, Peach Preserve, and Kelly’s Point (seasonal, tides permitting). Additionally, there is a meeting spot at Holiday Hideaway located at Channel View Drive and Samish Street. Most walks are led by GICCA volunteers, however you can always “create-your-own” walk using maps downloaded from GICCA’s Social Connections web page.


Guemes Walks is a safe means of connecting with friends old and new. Invite someone to walk with you or just go alone and enjoy the peace. You never know whom you might meet at the trailhead. Come join us!

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GICCA Stage Project Progress

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Click here to view an enlarged slideshow and read more updates.

Stage Update

Installation of the shake shingles at the stage is complete. The stage is essentially done except for applying the finish which will need to wait for warmer weather. As the physical structure of the community stage nears completion, the focus has begun to shift to landscape preparation — grading, rocks, fill, and plantings.


The Special Use Permit application has been submitted to the County. This permit is required by the County before any events can take place at the stage. The detailed application encompasses many factors and potentialities and includes a somewhat lengthy review and approval process as well as a hefty application fee.


The Special Use Permit application has been determined to be complete and a public Notice of Development Application & SEPA Comment Period is now available. Written comments must be received no later than 4:30 pm on May 21, 2021.


Thank You to Our Generous Donors!


Generosity runs deep in our community; we have come together over this past year to support each other in so many ways.  The GICCA Board of Directors thanks you for your generous support.


Now that 2020 has come to a thankful end and we look forward to a better 2021, GICCA is making our annual fundraising appeal. Our appeal letter was mailed recently. If you wish to donate, you may choose to use the envelope included with the appeal letter; you may also donate online here.


Because the nation’s charitable organizations have been struggling during the pandemic, the IRS made temporary changes in the tax law last spring that will allow more people to easily deduct up to $300 in donations to qualifying charities even if you do not itemize on your tax return. Details are available from the IRS here.


GICCA is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We appreciate your financial support as do the other non-profit organizations on Guemes. The Guemes Library, the Guemes Community Church, the Guemes Island Historical Society (GIHS), the Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC), and the Guemes Island Environmental Trust (GIET) are all 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.

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Rackets & Paddles at the Park

The Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) has been working with Skagit County Parks and Recreation to enhance the recreational opportunities at Schoolhouse Park. The Parks Department has confirmed that the tennis court resurfacing is now scheduled during the month of July. The exact dates will be set depending on the weather. Restriping will include both tennis and pickleball court markings. Renovation of the play structure is planned for 2022.


Yes, pickleball has arrived on Guemes. If you play pickleball or want to learn, this is your chance. Players can communicate via the Facebook page Guemes Island Pickleball Players. Find a friend or a group to play with. Organizers hope to have a group play on Thursdays at 5:30 PM and Sundays at 9:00 AM but you can play or ‘dink’ whenever the court is available. Use the tennis net for basic hitting practice (it’s 2” inches higher than a pickleball net) or bring your own pickleball net and use the temporary lines. Bring your own paddles or there might be some to borrow. All levels welcome! Let's pickle!


Thanks to resident Gina Meyers for initiating this activity and having a temporary net. GICCA will work with pickleball players to help raise money for future rolling nets. We look forward to having permanent lines to allow for a more multi-use court.

Read more about pickleball

Heart-Felt Thanks

To the doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacy and other medical workers, police officers, home-care workers, grocery store personnel, delivery people, transit workers, airline workers, and anyone who serves the public and cannot stay home.....

Thank you for your bravery, dedication, and sacrifice.
You are truly heroes!


And to all of you who are not on the front lines and are heeding the advice of health experts to stay home, or wear a mask and physically distance if you must go out ... we applaud you as well!

Thank you for demonstrating respect for others and for doing the right thing.

Ways To Donate During the COVID Crisis

For those of us who are not faced with job loss, food shortages, overdue housing expenses, or home-schooling challenges, our passions turn toward helping others. Here are a few ways to help by donating:

  • Guemes Island Community Pantry
  • G.I.V.E. (Guemes Island Volunteer Exchange)
  • COVID-19 Relief Fund for WA Undocumented
  • Skagit Gleaners
  • Blood Donation

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COVID-Safe Ways to Volunteer

Volunteering is not only helpful to others it is rewarding for you and good for your mental health. GICCA has many suggestions for COVID-safe volunteering.


GICCA’s Virtual Lecture Series is seeking one or two volunteers to help coordinate and manage group presentations on Zoom.

We have several interesting speakers lined up, but we need a Zoom leader to help make these a positive experience for both speakers and attendees. If you are interested, please email

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Join Our Mailing List

Receive our monthly e-newsletter

Guemes Island Community Center Association email lists on other island websites are no longer used for GICCA mailings of any kind. To receive GICCA news, please click below to subscribe.

Reality Check

The pandemic is NOT over yet. An increase in COVID cases will return us to Phase 2.


A simple reality

Credit: University of Kansas Health System

We do many things to protect ourselves and others from unnecessary harm. We don’t drink and drive. We don’t run stoplights. We don’t smoke on airplanes or in other indoor public places. The same principle applies to masks. The latest CDC guidelines state that when worn correctly, wearing a mask protects OURSELVES AND OTHERS from germs that are released every time someone breathes, talks, laughs, coughs, or sneezes.

Wearing is caring.

It’s as simple as that.

Helpful Links

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

  • Household Preparedness
  • Neighborhood Procedures
  • Resident Questionnaire
  • Volunteer Contacts, and more

Emergency Preparedness - 'do1thing'


Earthquake early-warning notifications

GICCA Facilities & Forms

  • Schedule GICCA Facilities
  • Hall Rental Agreement
  • Hall Amenities
  • Volunteer Waiver (Stage)

Guemes Island Fire Department (GIFD)

Guemes Island Ferry Committee (GIFC)

Guemes Island Library (GIL)

Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC)

What's Up, Guemes? (FB)

Guemes Island General Store (FB)

Guemes Tide and Evening Star Archives

Ferry Notifications (Unplanned outages, etc)

Explore Skagit Valley

On Deck

Weather Map

Mobile? Click 'Rain/Snow' tag for options

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of AmazonSmile purchases to their customers' chosen charitable organization. Guemes Island Community Center Association is registered on AmazonSmile. So, if you’re already shopping anyway, why not let Amazon make a small donation to GICCA - at no additional cost to you or GICCA!

How does it work?

  • Click on the AmazonSmile box (right) which brings you to the AmazonSmile GICCA page
    (you might want to bookmark that page to easily find it again).
  • Sign in to Amazon as usual.
  • Then, just shop as you normally would!

Click here to see how much you have made GICCA smile. Thank you!

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