Camp Casey serving up tours of Colonel’s House

A view from inside the covered porch of the iconic Colonel’s House Wednesday, June 7, 2017. The house and other attractions at the former Fort Casey will be open for the public to view during an open house from noon-4 p.m. Friday, June 16. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

On a recent tour of the Colonel’s House, it wasn’t hard to guess one of the favorite resting spots of commanding officers who once presided over Fort Casey.

The second-story room faces the water and offers a stunning vista of the nearby sea and mainland across the channel.

It also features a cozy seat.

“This is the bathroom with the best view,” Robyn Myers said while leading the tour.

“If you’re going to go potty and need to take some time, you might as well use this one,” she said with a laugh.

The public will get a rare look inside the Colonel’s House Friday, June 16, as part of an open house at the Camp Casey Conference Center put by on Seattle Pacific University.

The open house of the grounds will take place from 12-4 p.m.. The guided tours of the Colonel’s House are 1 to 2:30 p.m., preceded by a historical lecture on the lawn in front of the house by SPU history professor Bill Woodward.

Coupeville’s Steven Kobylk, an expert on Fort Casey, will lead the tours of the Colonel’s House, which offers a peek inside only about once a year.

The house, built in 1904, is the centerpiece structure among a row of former officers quarters preserved at the site of the former World War I era Army fort.

It is used mostly as a retreat space for SPU leadership and special groups.

“A lot of people are curious,” said Myers, conference services manager at Camp Casey and Fort Casey Inn.

The open house is free, including admission into the outdoor swimming pool and the indoor Sea Lab, a marine biology teaching facility not far from the beach.

Each spring, sea life is legally captured by divers and displayed in fish tanks for educational purposes before being returned to the sea in June.

This year, a giant Pacific octopus is the premier attraction.

“It’s super cool,” Myers said.

The open house will also offer an opportunity to tour the Fort Casey Inn, a row of cottages formerly used as officers’ housing. Guests may rent the rooms presently.

There will also be a tour of the barracks and mess hall.

At Fort Casey State Park, which is adjacent to Camp Casey, guided tours of the fort are from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Admiralty Head Light-house, located in the park, is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Myers said she expects anywhere from 200-400 at the open house.

“It’s really weather-related,” she said. “When the weather is good, there are 400 people. The pool is open and it’s all free. And the Sea Lab is open, too. It really is pretty fun and nostalgic for some.”

 

Robyn Myers, conference services manager at the Camp Casey Conference Center and Fort Casey Inn, has some fun while providing a tour of the iconic Colonel’s House Wednesday, June 7, 2017. The house and other attractions at the former Fort Casey will be open for the public to view during an open house from noon-4 p.m. Friday, June 16. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

A Pacific giant octopus is the main attraction this spring at the Sea Lab at the Camp Casey Conference Center near Coupeville. The Sea Lab and other attractions at the former Fort Casey will be open for the public to view during an open house from noon-4 p.m. Friday, June 16. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Robyn Myers, conference services manager at the Camp Casey Conference Center and Fort Casey Inn, has some fun while providing a tour of the iconic Colonel’s House Wednesday, June 7, 2017. The house and other attractions at the former Fort Casey will be open for the public to view during an open house from noon-4 p.m. Friday, June 16. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times