Visitors to South Whidbey Harbor can now get a glimpse into the past when strolling along the pier.
New displays were recently installed at the marina in a collaborative effort by Langley Main Street Association and the Port of South Whidbey. The display includes 10 panels that cover different time periods of the wharf’s history, starting with the relocation to the current site in 1902.
“This exhibit was initiated by Harbormaster Duncan McPhee, who wanted to have some panels that said something about the marina for visitors and community members who go down there,” Bob Waterman, local historian and board member for Langley Main Street Association, said. “I showed him the panels I made for Main Street at Frick Lane, so we designed installments for the wharf and one at Phil Simon Park.”
The display, which is mostly installed on the dock, explains the different facets of South Whidbey Harbor’s story. Three panels illustrate the relocation, the initial structures and the development of new buildings in the area. A second cluster of panels shows the commercial and social activities at the marina, including community clam bakes, a dance pavilion and the old canning company.
The display also covers the evolution of the marina structure to its present shape, from its initial “U” shape, to the single pier to its current layout. The old businesses that called the nearby shores home are also covered in the historical panels. These include Sunrise Beach Resort and the old Standard Oil Facility.
A display at Phil Simon Park telling the story of the park’s namesake is also included.
“I hope the installment provides a chance for people who come to visit to get a sense of all the history that occurred down there over the years,” Waterman said.
Port of South Whidbey and Langley Main Street Association split the cost of the panels, which totaled $6,400.