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Twelve miles long and four miles wide, Lopez Island deeply indented southern shore peppered with small islands and bare rocks, Lopez, with a population of 600, ranks third in size and agricultural importance among the San Juans. Its north coast is a salmon fishing center. The island was named in 1791 by Lieutenant Eliza for Lopez de Haro, thought to be the first to sight it. Several small settlements and a scattering of farming communities are connected by roads to the ferry landing at Upright Head.

The community of Lopez is on the west side of Lopez Island facing Upright Channel. The Lopez Island Historical Museum is there. A post office was established as Lopez Island on April 2, 1873, and changed to Lopez on February 8, 1895.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Oscar Weeks Water Tower

The Oscar Weeks water tower (ca. 1914) was built by the second generation of one of the first pioneer families to settle and homestead on Lopez Island. The tower was built by Oscar Weeks (1873-1962) who was born in California. His parents Lyman and Irene Weeks moved with their son Oscar in 1874 to Lopez Island, Washington. The tower stood adjacent to a now demolished barn. The barn included a granary and room for four horses and a small dairy herd. Water from the tower was used for the farm animals housed in the barn. Oscar’s simple, one story house built in 1900 stands about a block away, southeast of the tower & barn site. A water tower was a sign of a substantial homesteader, advertising to the community that the owner was a person of substance and hard work who could afford the modern conveniences.

Fisherman Bay

Fisherman Bay is on the west shore of Lopez Island on San Juan Channel in south central San Juan County. It is almost entirely landlocked by a long spit. It was first charted by Capt. Henry Richards of the British admiralty survey in 1858. He listed it simply as Lagoon. In January, 1912, the present name was given by the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. It provides a good moorage for fishing boats.