Historical society hosts Ebey story
April 6, 2012 · Updated 4:22 PM
The South Whidbey Historical Society will host “Rebecca: The Story of Rebecca Ebey,” a Jill Johnson presentation, at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 15.
The South Whidbey Historical Society’s “Then and Now” will feature Jill Johnson, Whidbey Island’s premier storyteller, recreating the life of Rebecca Davis Ebey who, along with her husband, Isaac Ebey, was one of the first settlers of the northern Puget Sound region.
Rebecca’s husband was a well-known Washington pioneer, homesteader, legislator and military commander. The story is told through the words of Rebecca Ebey’s diary which began three months after her arrival on Whidbey Island in June of 1852 and ended abruptly with her death in September 1853.
The diary is a remarkable document revealing a bright, sensitive, young woman facing huge hardships caused by weather, isolation, loneliness, pregnancy, illness and relentless, hard, physical work.
However, Rebecca also shares her joys: the beauty of the land, strong friendships and a sense of accomplishment as she and Isaac together create a community.
The presentation is supported by the South Whidbey Historical Society, Island County Historical Museum and the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Versions of this program have been presented at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, the Coupeville Public Library, the Beach Watchers “Sound Waters” program and at the 2010 annual conference of the Ebey’s Reserve.
Johnson conducted additional research through the Abingdon County (VA) Historical Society website and at the University of Washington Special Collections Library which has a collection of Ebey family materials. The National Storytelling Network has awarded “Rebecca” the 2012 Huebner Award to cover costs for final research at the University of Washington.
“Rebecca” is the first of the South Whidbey Historical Society’s “Then and Now” presentations for 2012.
There is no admission charge, but donations to the Society will be accepted.
The event will be held at the Saratoga — Baby Island Club at 3616 Saratoga Road located between Amble and Wells roads near Fox Spit Road.