Whidbey Examiner


Reserve staff to highlight history, local food during Summer Picnic on the Prairie

August 8, 2013 · 11:13 AM

The historic Ferry House will be open for tours Saturday, Aug. 17 during Summer Picnic on the Prairie, a fundraiser for Ebey's Reserve. / Megan Hansen photo

Locals and visitors are invited to attend the Summer Picnic on the Prairie Saturday, August 17 to benefit programs of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

Enjoy a Whidbey Island-grown dinner, readings of original journals from early settlers, live music, raffles and a rare opportunity to tour the historic Ferry House and other National Register properties within the reserve.

The event marks the debut of Friends of Ebey’s, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to raising philanthropic support for projects and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the cultural and natural resources and the visitor experience of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

Proceeds from the evening are matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor as part of a $75,000 challenge match, and will support programs of Ebey's Reserve. This includes future support for the Ebey’s Forever Grant Program that provides annual matching grants to heritage property owners.

Since its start in 2011, the grant program has awarded more than $200,000 to stabilize, rehabilitate and preserve 30 historic buildings within the Reserve. More information about past and current grant projects here.The Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing, built in 1860 on the Donation Land Claim of Isaac Ebey after his death in 1857, served as an inn to the increasing traffic between Port Townsend and Coupeville. It housed a post office, tavern, rooms for overnight guests and important rendezvous for mariners whose vessels were anchored at Penn Cove, Oak Harbor and Port Townsend.

In 2010, Ebey’s Reserve was awarded a grant as part of the Partners in Preservation program. The grant helped pay for a stabilization project that rebuilt the front porch and stabilized the building.

As one of Washington state’s oldest residential buildings, the Ferry House is a lasting example of life during the early days of settlement in the Pacific Northwest, serving both as an invaluable educational resource and an unforgettable icon in Ebey’s Landing.

Tickets for the event are $75 and include a summer picnic of local foods, live music, raffle gifts and a tour of the historic Ferry House with your choice of self-guided tour starting at 4 p.m. or docent-led tours starting at 5 p.m.

Guest will also enjoy a short production of The Prairie Diaries, readings from early pioneer journals curated by Lynn Hyde, education and outreach coordinator for Ebey’s Reserve.A limited number of Golden Tickets are available for $200 per person or $350 per couple and include private tours of three other National Register properties and Ebey’s Forever Grant projects.

Historic preservation experts Harrison Goodall and Annie Matsov will lead this special tour from 3-5 p.m. then will join the picnic and other activities at the Ferry House. The event will end at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available for purchase at Brownpaper Tickets at www.friendsofebeys.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 360-678-6084. You can also get tickets at bayleaf in Coupeville, Blooms Winery Taste for Wine at Bayview, or Wind & Tide Bookshop in Oak Harbor. More information online at www.ebeysforeverfund.com/events/


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