(Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group)
                                Robyn Myers ascends the stairs in the Colonel’s House, a popular destination for visitors at the annual open house at Camp Casey.

(Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group) Robyn Myers ascends the stairs in the Colonel’s House, a popular destination for visitors at the annual open house at Camp Casey.

Camp Casey open house invites public to tour center

The opportunity awaits to walk the paths where hundreds of enlisted military personnel once roamed, peer into the alien eyes of a tentacled octopus and tread on the Colonel’s House’s Douglas fir floors during a tour at the the sixth annual open house at Camp Casey Conference Center.

Seattle Pacific University is inviting locals and tourists alike to take a inside look at the military fort, which was built in the 1890s, during the open house 12–4 p.m. on Friday, June 14.

The free event will allow visitors to see the “Sea Lab” marine biology teaching facility which features aquatic creatures recently captured off the coast by divers. There will also be tours of the barracks and mess hall with complimentary snacks and coffee and a tour of the Fort Casey Inn, a row of cottages that were used as officers’ housing prior to World War I.

One of the most popular open house events is the guided tour of the Colonel’s House, according to Robyn Myers, who is the conference services manager at Camp Casey and Fort Casey Inn.

“If you want to see it, this is your chance,” Myers said, as it is only open to the public during open houses. The house is used as a retreat space for SPU personnel during the rest of the year.

One popular stop will not be offered this year—the outdoor swimming pool, which is closed for repairs.

SPU Professor Emeritus of History Bill Woodward will be leading tours at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m, with a lecture called “Those mysterious seacoast forts: Doing homeland defense the old-fashioned way.”

He will discuss the origins of Fort Casey, including the its original purpose to defend Puget Sound from invaders.

Woodward said the open house is a good way for people to learn about this “under-appreciated gem” of Whidbey Island.

“I think people on Whidbey Island need to know what they have,” he said. “It’s a great treasure. People should know it, people should prize it”

Casey history expert and Coupeville resident Steve Kobylk will be leading tours of his own 1 p.m. to 3 p.m, and will be discussing the Victorian-style Colonel’s House, which he said is also known as the Staff Officers Quarters. Kobylk dons a 1900s-era uniform for the tours.

Kobylk said on the tour of the Colonel’s House, people are most often surprised by the high quality construction of the building and the master bedrooms which follow the old-fashioned tradition of having separate bedrooms for the officer and his wife, with a conjugal door between the two.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse will be open for tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SPU purchased Fort Casey in 1956 after it was decommissioned after World War II, and renovated the buildings into their current-day usage. In fact, SPU has now owned Camp Casey for longer than the army did, Myers said.

For more information visit spu.edu/casey or call 360-648-5050.

(Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group)
                                The Sea Lab marine biology teaching facility features a variety of freshly captured sea creatures, including sea stars. They will be released back into the wild eventually, and next year’s open house will featured new marine life, harvested carefully by divers.

(Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group) The Sea Lab marine biology teaching facility features a variety of freshly captured sea creatures, including sea stars. They will be released back into the wild eventually, and next year’s open house will featured new marine life, harvested carefully by divers.

More in News

Island County plan aspires to end homelessness

Local leaders and residents have been discussing the issue of homelessness for… Continue reading

Nutcracker auditions set for September 22

There will be open community auditions on Sunday, Sept. 22, for the… Continue reading

Burn ban lifted by Island County Sheriff’s Office

Due to the increase in “fuel moisture levels,” the Island County Sheriff’s… Continue reading

Port seeks solutions to dogs roaming Greenbank Farm

To address ongoing issues with dogs straying into farmland at the Greenbank… Continue reading

DjangoFest kicking off with food, beer and a big key

It’s time once again for South Whidbey to be Django’d, and there’s… Continue reading

Four Whidbey residents sign up for senate appointment

At least four people from Whidbey Island are asking to be appointed… Continue reading

Residents seek class-action lawsuit over Growler noise

Attorneys representing 24 individuals and couples in Central Whidbey filed a lawsuit… Continue reading

Navy man dies in seventh motorcycle crash on Whidbey since May

A 24-year-old sailor was killed in a collision Saturday afternoon on Ault… Continue reading

Photo by Govinda Rosling
                                A marbled murrelet floats in the water near the Langley marina.
Navy reexamines Growler impacts on seabird

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has declared his first victory in… Continue reading

Most Read