friends of ebey’s
The Friends of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve works in cooperation with the Reserve’s Trust Board and National Park Service to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve, and enhance the cultural and natural resources and the visitor experience of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. This includes fundraising, public outreach and educational activities and building public awareness of the Reserve. The Friends of Ebey’s is the fundraising arm of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve was created by Congress in 1978 as a unit of the National Park System. However, the Reserve is not a typical national park. It is an experiment in its approach to park management and land protection. Ebey’s Landing is the first “historical reserve” in the National Park System – its boundaries surround mostly private land and it is managed through partnerships. Though most national parks units are managed by a superintendent, the Reserve is managed by a nine-member Trust Board comprised of representatives from four units of government- town, county, state and federal. Given this non-traditional approach, the reserve presents unique opportunities for planning, management, public use, Reserve operations, and preservation of natural and cultural resources.
One of the oldest residential buildings in Washington, the Ferry House was built in 1860 by Winfield Scott Ebey as an Inn to provide financial stability for his brother’s children, who were orphaned when Issac Neff Ebey was beheaded by Canadian natives. Once completed and opened for business, the building was named The Ebey Inn.
Travelers and locals could also purchase merchandise and groceries at the Inn, which served ferry traffic to and from Port Townsend until a new ferry dock was constructed near Fort Casey at the turn of the 20th century. The house stayed in the Ebey family for 57 years, until Isaac Ebey’s grandson sold the old Inn in 1917.