Lifestyle

TOP O' THE MORN: A sacred circle topped Eerkes Hill

Back in 1941, when the air station was being hurriedly built, the first Victory Homes on top of Eerkes Hill were the ones in the circle overlooking the Seaplane Base and the town. Here Capt. Simard and his top-ranking officers lived, in the little two-bedroom, cracker-box houses that made up for construction short-comings by presenting the most beautiful view in the world to their tenants.

Back in 1941, when the air station was being hurriedly built, the first Victory Homes on top of Eerkes Hill were the ones in the circle overlooking the Seaplane Base and the town. Here Capt. Simard and his top-ranking officers lived, in the little two-bedroom, cracker-box houses that made up for construction short-comings by presenting the most beautiful view in the world to their tenants.

Since the top-flight naval officers lived in the little circle of homes, the location became known as the Sacred Circle and such it has remained to us, and to others who lived here when the Navy base was in its infancy.

The Sacred Circle was a favorite spot with us. The view was terrific. To the east were the waters of Crescent Harbor and beyond the mainland and Camano Island. To the west of Maylor Point sat Oak Harbor, within the protecting arms of Scenic Heights and the point, a little cluster of buildings huddled under massive oaks.

To the west of the old dock was the flat land near City Beach, where Indians built their villages more than a 100 years ago, hung their dead in canoes between poles, fished in the bay, fought off raiders to the north, then capitulated to the white man’s ways.

At dusk, the lights of Oak Harbor would go on along Pioneer Way, a multi-colored string of sequins strung below the oaks.

A new road, facetiously referred to for years as Flintstone Freeway hooked its muddy arm around the lumber company dock in its progress toward completion and the meeting with Midway Boulevard and Pioneer Way. The town’s own Space Needle, the water tank, looked down benignly from the hill and a seaplane droned its unwieldly way home to Crescent Harbor.

When the day would get a little beyond our copings, when the telephone became a monster of a utility, when we needed time and a place for thinking, and there was a need to refresh our viewpoint, the Sacred Circle was but a short drive. Like we said, from there was the most beautiful view in the world, be it sunrise, sunset or in between.

Dorothy Neil has gathered and recorded Whidbey Island history for more than 50 years. Her 10 books chronicle Whidbey life and times.

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