Ferry Public Forum

Ferry Public Forum

Join the Skagit County Commissioners, Public Works Department and naval architect Glosten for a public forum on ferry operations. The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Guemes Island Community Center, 7549 Guemes Island Road. Agenda items include an operations update (ridership and revenue statistics, as well as revenue target report), conceptual design and cost estimate for the Guemes parking lot project, and an update on the ferry replacement project from Glosten’s Will Moon.

For more on the replacement project, see our Guemes Island Ferry Replacement Project web page.
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Linda Porter – Free Spirit

Linda Porter - Free Spirit

The Guemes Island Historical Society continues its tradition of great presentations diving deep into the historical treasures of our island.

“Linda Porter: Free Spirit.”

Presented by: Carol Deach & Nancy Bush

October 9, 7 p.m.

Guemes Island Community Center

As an artist, master gardener, realtor and part original owner of the Red Snapper Gift Store, Linda clearly touched many lives. She spent most of her life involved in the Guemes and Anacortes communities, while also teaching printmaking at Skagit Valley College.

Linda's involvement and personality has inspired the two women to share her history. This presentation will cover her early years, her art, her entrepreneurship and her lifelong exuberance.

As usual, the GIHS business meeting will follow directly after the program. All are welcome to attend. Please contact Tom Deach (360-708-2582) for information and comments regarding the GIHS programs and events.

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In Case You Missed It – Harvest Moon Dinner Cruise

In Case You Missed It - Harvest Moon Dinner Cruise

Meeting on Seafarer’s Way at the Anacortes Marina was an expectant group (~50) of friends and neighbors waiting to board the cruise ship Mystic Sea for the promised “Harvest Moon Dinner Cruise” planned by the Guemes Island Historical Society. This was a new idea for the Society (which is headed by me, President Tom Deach) to ramp up the fun while adding to our treasury at $100 per head.

Other ‘fun’d raisers have been the selling of the historical calendars each year; the “Dog Days of Summer Dog Island Dog Show”; Fall Bazaar where we sell soup and baked goods in the fellowship hall of the Guemes Church plus rent space there and at the Community Center to local artisans. 

We also welcome and accept donations toward the mission of the group which is to reveal Guemes history, work toward safe-guarding the ever-growing collection of historical artifacts and have fun!

I arranged for cheerful volunteer taxi drivers to transport folks from the Guemes ferry dock and back again. Carol Harma managed the passenger list as Kit Harma, Kevin Green, Al Bush, Edith Walden, myself and others helped load the boat with the delectables - delicious cheese trays, “slider” sandwiches, pasta salad and the decadent cookie bars to top it all off! – all planned by David Rockwood. A satisfying variety of liquid refreshment was supplied and expertly served by Michael Brown and Mickey McEachern.

The captains of the Mystic Sea and their crew were very welcoming, helpful and friendly. Monty and Eric pointed out such interesting sights as the named coves and beaches on Guemes as well as on the other islands we passed by.

The cruise began as we swung out into “Fidalgo Bay” heading for “Casperson Point” on the SE point of Guemes. Continuing toward the north, the Mystic Sea skirted the point and snugged in between Guemes and Huckleberry Islands. Rosie Cayou James had supplied us with very interesting maps including notable historical references. She gave commentary on the recent acquisition of Huckleberry Island by the Samish Indian Nation. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has transferred ownership of the approximately 10-acre island to the Samish since owning the island no longer fits within the vision of the state agency; plus the Samish have found evidence of ancestry there. Staying north, we soon passed “Long Beach” beneath “Holiday Hideaway” and then “Square Bay” before following the north shore of Guemes. Along that stretch we had good views of “Seaway Hollow” and “North Beach” from the “Flats” all the way past the “Guemes Island Resort”, toward the most northwesterly “Clark Point”.

Views toward the east included Samish, Jack, Vendovi and Lummi Islands with Bellingham Bay in the distance. Heading around “Clark Point”, we could see towering fir trees, spreading maples and ancient cedars in the once dense forest high above this end of the island.

As West Shore Road turns down the hill toward the beach, home sites appear. Rosie pointed out the land on “West Beach” occupied by her tribe many years ago. She sang a tribute to her family nd tribe as we motored on by the home of her aunt, Jackie Bohn, who came out on the deck to give us a wave.

Swinging away from “West Beach”, we then crossed “Bellingham Channel” and motored over to Cypress Island where we saw the recently collapsed fish pens, “Secret Harbor” and “Strawberry Bay”.

As the sun began to sink into the sea the crew gave us a nature tour of “Bird Rocks” in “Rosario Strait” with the many cormorants, gulls and the 2000-plus pounds of sea lions curiously checking out our passing ship. Circling “Bird Rocks” as the sun set was a very special treat. Lights on shore began to come on and we saw two state ferries, all lit up as they passed each other.

The Mystic Sea turned across the strait and toward “Guemes Channel”, heading back east along the Anacortes waterfront, past the Guemes ferry dock, past Piers 1 and 2, around Cap Sante and back to port. We all disembarked, clutching our maps, looking for taxi ride back to the ferry dock, hoping for a repeat performance of friends, food and fun in 2018!

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Meet Your Neighbor – Michael Brown and Cheryl Mansley

Meet Your Neighbors - Michael Brown and Cheryl Mansley

Guemes Island is home to many talented professionals. Some come here to retire and others actively run their businesses from the island. Michael Brown and Cheryl Mansley moved to Guemes in September 2015 and launched Skagit Signal four months later. They have been the saviors for many of us with wifi, computer, website, smart TV and cell reception issues.

Michael has 30 years of Information Technology experience, including 15 years with a Fortune 500 company and several years as a Software Consultant for complex manufacturing facilities.

Cheryl has over thirty years of teaching experience, including 27 years as an Events Producer and several years as an Events Management Consultant and Expressive Arts Director.

Together, they have combined their skills to create a company that provides honest, reliable, and knowledgeable technical assistance to residential and commercial customers.

In today’s world, entertainment, information and communication needs are fulfilled via phones, computers, tablets and televisions. Mike and Cheryl use their expertise and experience to give consumers and businesses the connectivity they depend on to fulfill these needs. They are a welcome and valued part of our community. Thanks to this talented and creative couple for keeping us all connected!

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Beyond the Gates – A Walking Tour of the Guemes Island Cemetery

Beyond the Gates - A Walking Tour of the Guemes Island Cemetery

We are so lucky that our Guemes Island Historical Society is deeply passionate about preserving and sharing the rich history of our island. If you've never attended a presentation, I'd highly suggest it. Though I may be a "young" person on this island at nearly 40, I am always enthralled by the stories and information GIHS has in their pockets. Their next presentation is no exception.

“Beyond the Gates: A Walking Tour of the Guemes Island Cemetery”
Presented by Adam Veal, Guemes Island Cemetery District Commissioner.
Monday, September 11, 6:30 p.m. Cemetery Gates

Adam will lead a walk through our historic Guemes cemetery focusing on several early settlers, such as the Edens family, whose influence is still felt to this day. In addition we'll learn about some of the later arrivals on the island. Adam will share his knowledge of those that have come before us, with his favorite stories and amusing anecdotes. Please join us in a stroll through time.

The regularly scheduled GIHS business meeting will immediately follow Adam's presentation.
The meeting is open to all, and we encourage your participation.

Please contact Tom Deach (360-708-2582)with any questions you may have.

Meet Your Neighbor – Justin Rothboeck

Meet Your Neighbor - Justin Rothboeck

He's a volunteer firefighter, a lawyer, and an all-around nice guy. Meet your Guemes neighbor, Justin Rothboeck.

Justin grew up in Coupeville, attended college in Walla Walla and law school in Salem, Oregon. He’s a member of the Guemes Island Fire Department and has twice participated in the Dog Island Run. He moved to Guemes a year ago, and like so many of us, knew this was the place. His long term goal is to own a small farm on the island that is sustainable and operates on the principles of permaculture – care for the earth, care for the people, and return of surplus to the earth and people.

His short term goals are to run a marathon in the fall and to start bike commuting.

Justin runs a small law office on 6th Street in Anacortes and specializes in estate planning, probate, real property and civil litigation. If you see him on the ferry, now you can say, hello, because you know a little more about him.

Justin R. Rothboeck
Attorney at Law
1015 6th Street, STE 108
Anacortes, WA 98221
Tel 360-299-3663

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GICCA Stage Project

GICCA Stage Project

Stage Inspiration 2009
Lindsey Stage Concept
Stage_concept view 2
Stage_concept view
2 Breaking Ground Nov2014
3 Stage Slab Pour 5_2015
4 GaryC,Chagnon
5 Win at Foundation
6 Foundation Pour
7 Jack Smith Crew Lunch
8 Lunch for Crew
9 More Lunch
Joists 1
Rick and Tom-5-2019 039 edit (1)
Peeled Uprights
Flamingo Celebration
Stage_work_0819 (1)
Plunge cut prep_Nov
Planning Cut Back Beam
Back Beam
Setting Back Beam
Crew plus one
Oiling Front Beam
King Post
Peeling Purlins Libby
Purlins oiled (1)
Stage-7-2020 068-sm
stage roof
Stage Roofing Install
Stage Roof
Unloading Boulders
Building Rock Walls
Milling Cedar for Stairs
Planting Trees
BO Tractor
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GICCA maintains a master list of names of stage volunteers, donors, and business partners.  These names are documented from the Guemes Tide Archives and from prior GICCA Board minutes and Treasurer records, in some cases going back at least 10 years. Using these sources, GICCA has made every attempt to compile the most complete and accurate list of documented names possible. The list currently contains over 145 names and continues to grow - thank you! GICCA looks forward to publicly acknowledging all the hard-working and generous volunteers, donors, and business partners in conjunction with a well-deserved and long-awaited community celebration at project conclusion.

Guemes Island is home to many talented as well as budding musicians. Music is an important and integral part of our culture. The concept of an outdoor stage was the brainchild of a group of island musicians in 2010. Planning and design ensued over the next 2-3 years. Since then many, many hours of volunteer time have been invested in site preparation, materials gathering and prepping, and stage construction activities. More than $70,000 has been raised and spent from numerous fundraisers, generous community contributions, and an Anacortes Parks Foundation Grant.

The stage design has changed over the years. Volunteers, as well as paid professionals, have come and gone for various reasons. GICCA Board members have transitioned numerous times as terms expired and new Board members were elected. All of these transitions have presented new challenges and impacted project timelines and budgets.

Thanks to all who have so generously donated valuable time and money to the stage project! Stage performances, including music, talent shows, fashion shows, theater, etc., will enrich the artistic culture on the island and enhance our strong sense of community. The stage will be a wonderful asset for us all to take pride in and enjoy!


To learn how you can make future contributions, please go to the Donate/Volunteer page. Make sure to indicate that your donation is for the stage.


The GICCA Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park is being built on Community Center property. As such, GICCA is responsible for project oversight including project structure and operating guidelines, budget management, volunteer and construction coordination, and the safety of all involved. All stage construction and purchasing decisions must be approved by the GICCA-appointed project manager. All volunteers involved in tasks that require them to be physically present on the stage site must sign and submit a Volunteer Waiver before engaging in such tasks.


Important reminder to everyone working on the stage: Fiscal responsibility by the elected Board to our generous donors demands the central coordination of tasks and purchases. We have an ongoing policy that all work is coordinated through the GICCA-appointed stage project manager.


TASKS are delegated as needed to volunteer coordinators with specific knowledge and skills. They, in turn, call on our talented volunteer workforce to complete these specific tasks. Safety and liability concerns may require outsourcing of certain tasks.


MATERIALS must also be coordinated through the project manager. This ongoing policy is necessary to keep costs for this monumental project in check. Unauthorized purchases will be considered a donation and CAN NOT be reimbursed. We thank you for respecting this long-standing policy.


Welcome Bags

Welcome Bags

Groundfloor Guemes would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Guemes Island neighbors on behalf of the entire community!

We're a community outreach group within the Guemes Island Community Center Association. We strive to support environmental and economic sustainability within our community while supporting island non-profit groups and projects. The Welcome Bag project is just one of the many fun projects we've undertaken.

We have prepared a small tote with information to help new islanders become acquainted with our community. If you're a new island homeowner and would like to receive a welcome bag and/or would like to learn how to get involved with our group, please use the CONTACT US tab above to introduce yourself and provide your contact information.

Organic Food Procurement

Organic Food Procurement

You are invited to join our island food-purchasing group!

The Groundfloor Guemes group of the Community Center strives to encourage an environmentally and economically sustainable community on Guemes Island. We support the purchase and distribution of island products as well as the ordering of organic and sustainable products from Azure.

Products ordered from Azure are delivered monthly to a drop site in the town of Anacortes. Groundfloor has organized a system of cooperative-buying, whereby small orders can be combined to avoid a minimum-amount charge, and participants can profit from the cost-savings on items purchased in large quantities. A monthly list of large-quantity purchases is mailed to all participants. In addition to the Azure foods and products, island-raised Yak meat and Guemes Sunrise coffee may be ordered. Groundfloor members pick up the orders at the drop site and bring them back to the island for distribution. Participants pay only the purchase price of the items ordered.

Islanders may participate in this program in one of two ways.
Create an account with Azure and join the Anacortes drop site. There is no required membership fee. There is a $50 minimum order amount. You may, even if you have your own account, choose to order less than the minimum order amount by joining a group order. You may request that your order be picked up at the drop site and brought to the island by a Groundfloor volunteer.
Simply place your (less than minimum amount) order with one of the island coordinators and then pick up your order from the designated island location.

If you would like more information about Azure, please review their catalogs at the Guemes Library or browse their website at www.azurestandard.com. If you would like more information about joining the island buying group, contact Marianne Kooiman at eyrie@cnw.com or Edie Clark at bneclark@gmail.com.

Vision Project

Vision Project

The purpose of this project is to explore the possible expansion of the community center, how it may be used in the future, and what changes might need to be made to serve current and future residents of Guemes Island. The Vision Committee, a sub-committee of GICCA, will be comprised of 5 members from key stakeholder organizations and 2 community-at-large representatives:

  • Guemes Island Community Center Association - Rob Schroder
  • Guemes Island Library - Morna McEachern
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) - Barb Ohms
  • Guemes Island Historical Society - position open
  • Guemes Community Church - Lynn Prewitt
  • Community at Large/Funding Advisor - David Werthheimer
  • Emeritus - Carol Pellett

At this time, meetings will be held monthly on the second Thursday of each month, 7 pm, at the Guemes Island Community Church. Meetings are open to the public. The Committee will report to the GICCA Board on a quarterly basis; more often if deemed necessary.