The Island County Historical Society was organized in 1949 in
attempts to save the Lovejoy Victorian courthouse (built in 1891)
as a museum facility to preserve and protect the artifacts and
history of Island County. In spite of those efforts, it was declared
unsafe and demolished.
In 1958, the Historical Society explored the possibility of a museum in the abandoned Admiralty Head Lighthouse. At the time, the lighthouse was in great need of repair. Fortunately, the State took over its repair and has restored and preserved this historic building and it now houses a museum of its own.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Collect, Preserve and Interpret Island County's rich and unique cultural heritage and history.
General Telephone Co. Exchange, Coupeville
In 1963 the Historical Society opened its first museum in a small building donated by General Telephone Company on the corner of Coveland and Main Street in Coupeville. The museum was run and maintained by volunteers at this location for five years before moving to a larger facility provided by by the Town of Coupeville. The former Fire Hall on Alexander Street served well as our museum from 1971-1991.
The ICHS museum outgrew its cramped quarters, and as part of our State's Centennial, a capital campaign was launched in 1989 to construct our current museum building. The new ICHS museum was built on the site of the former 1868 Blockhouse Inn, adjacent to the historic Alexander's Blockhouse, and a long shed housing several native canoes. The museum, opened in 1991, reflects the size and basic feel of the old Inn that tragically burnt in 1968, and now serves as a focal point and landmark on the waterfront of historic downtown Coupeville. A traditional wraparound porch and a drought-tolerant garden provide opportunities for unique outdoor programming.