Island County Whidbey and Camano Islands

    Island County, the eighth oldest county in Washington, was created on January 6, 1853, by the Oregon Territorial Legislature from a portion of Thurston County and was named for the myriad of islands in Northwestern Washington. It originally encompassed Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties. At present, Island County consists of just two large islands, Whidbey and Camano, and six small, uninhabited islands: Smith Island to the west, Deception and Pass islands in Deception Pass, and Ben Ure, Strawberry, and Baby islands in Saratoga Passage. The area that comprises Island County was first explored by Captain George Vancouver (1758-1798) during the spring of 1792. The county has a total area of 517 square miles; 208.4 square miles of land and 309 square miles of water. In area, it is the second smallest county in Washington. It is bounded on the north by Deception Pass, on the south by Puget Sound, on the east by Skagit Bay and Saratoga Passage, and on the west by Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Island County had a population of 71,558; 22,477 living in incorporated cities and towns and 49,081 living in unincorporated areas. The county seat is the historic town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island.