Coupeville is one of Washington’s oldest towns and the seat of Island County. Situated on Whidbey Island, at Penn Cove on Saratoga Passage, the town was once the site of three permanent Lower Skagit tribal villages. Named for pioneer Thomas Coupe, it was settled by sea captains and farmers in the 1850s. Whidbey Island narrows near Coupeville; nearby Ebey’s Landing and Ebey’s Prairie share a common history. The activation of Fort Casey in 1901 spurred efforts for Coupeville incorporation in April 1910. During the Great Depression, Whidbey Island utilized government funds for building projects such as Deception Pass Bridge (1935). Many of Coupeville’s older structures survived into the 1970s and Whidbey Island support for the arts and tourism at that time gave impetus to formation of a National Historic Preservation District and the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, the first of its kind recognized in the U.S. Continued support of tourism has preserved four blockhouses, historic buildings and homes, and most significantly, the prairie itself. The content above is provided by HistoryLink.org and is owned by History Ink and subject to its copyright.
Images on this page graciously provided by Denis Hill.