ANDERSON ISLAND, WASH. - Here is an eight square mile island that offers spectacular views, natural beauty, miles of unspoiled beaches and residents like Jeanne McGoldrick, who can't name a place where she'd rather live.
“They'll have to carry me off in a box or screaming,” she says.
“That's the feeling of an awful lot of people,” says retired aerospace engineer Ed Stephenson.
Stephenson says first-time visitors should check out the historic Johnson Farm, run by the volunteers of the Anderson Island Historical Society.
Inside an old chicken coop, you’ll find a collection of all kinds of odd items, from adding machines to harpsichords.
“All of this stuff has just been put in here for storage at the moment because we've been building the new archival building,” says Stephenson.
In a glass case, we found submarine electricity cables, Anderson Island’s lifeline.
There are rusting farm tools, an old pilot house for one of the island's original ferries, and an old phone booth.
“Some people would have to go down to the ferry to make a phone call,” says Stephenson.
There's another rusting antique in Oro Bay: a ferry called The Ocean City
“Yeah that's a very interesting story,” laughs Stephenson. “Tommy Palmer kind of collects ferries.”
In the 1980's Palmer won the ferry in a Virginia auction and brought it through the Panama Canal hoping to win a private contract to ferry Anderson Island passengers. The county said no and it's been here ever since.
“Far as I know the only thing he's used it for was his daughter that had a wedding party on it at one time and that's about it,” says Stephenson.
We've got our own ferry to catch but there's one more place we wanted to see: The Anderson Island General Store. Here you can pick up groceries, videos, used books and the latest news.
“A lot of people say we're the pub of the island,” says owner Barbara Lake. “I'm not one that likes the gossip line of the island so we keep that as far bay.”
As the sun sets over the sound, we depart the southernmost island in Puget Sound and head back to the mainland. A twenty-minute ride that's made all the difference for Anderson Island
“I love the ferry,” says McGoldrick. “That's the only thing that's keeping the island as quiet as it is.”
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