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Olga

A community on the east shore of East Sound at the head of Buck Bay. The name was adopted on March 3, 1890 when a post office was established. The name, Rosario, was proposed but was refused because of another post office by that name in the state. John Ohlert, owner of a local store and dance hall, suggested the name of his mother in Germany, Olga Ohlert, and it was adopted.

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Strawberry Barreling Plant

Strawberry Barreling Plant, now home to the Artworks co-op and Café Olga. The Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant embodies the story of rural life and farming in the depression ear 1930s and during WWII. From the turn of the century until the 1920s, apple, pears and prunes were major crops on the island. The irrigation of Eastern Washington and the subsequent orchard development in that region ended the economic viability of fruit tree farming on Orcas Island. Early in the 1930s it was discovered that the Marshall strawberry which had been developed on the east coast was particularly well suited to the coastal conditions of Washington and Oregon. The success in growing these plants for transplanting and fruit significantly contributed to the economy of Orcas Island during the depression. The building was built in the winter of 1937/1938 to further this important island industry. In the same year, 1938, the Rural Electrification Administration brought electricity to the island. In 1941, still the year of the CCC camp on the island, two hundred persons were employed in the berry harvest with lasted six weeks.

Buck Bay

Buck Bay is on the east shore of East Sound. The inlet was charted as Stockade Bay by Capt. Henry Richards, British Admiralty surveyor in 1858. The present name has become official by local use.

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