Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve launches lecture series

A lecture series highlighting different locations throughout Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve kicks off this weekend with a presentation at Captain Coupe Park.

The Pop-Up Program lecture series is a new interpretive program, launching this year as part of the reserve’s 45th anniversary celebration. Reserve manager Marie Shimada said the purpose of the series is to draw people to locations in the reserve that don’t typically get a lot of public attention while educating about history.

The reserve is around 20 square miles, Shimada said, but she often meets Whidbey residents who do not know that the reserve boundaries extend beyond the prairie. This lecture series is meant to counteract the misconception that the reserve only encompasses one small corridor.

“It’s actually a really big area of historic significance,” Shimada said.

The first lecture of the series will take place at noon on Saturday, June 10, at Captain Coupe Park. Sandy Moore, a local historian and reserve docent known for making and wearing her own 19th-century dresses, will present “10,000 Years on Penn Cove: Coast Salish Peoples to Early Coupeville History.”

The presentation will delve into the history of the Penn Cove area prior to white European settlement, a topic Shimada said hasn’t always been widely taught.

“Right now people are so hungry for that information,” she said.

Moore will deliver a second presentation of “10,000 Years on Penn Cove” at noon on Saturday, July 8, also at Captain Coupe Park.

Another docent and historian, Patrick Hussey, also has two lectures planned. He will present “The Story of Monroe’s Landing” at noon on June 24 at Monroe’s Landing and “Sunnyside Cemetery: Where Coupeville Sleeps” at noon on Aug. 5 at Sunnyside Cemetery.

Shimada said that an important aspect of this series is physically being in the spaces being discussed, which makes for a richer educational experience.

As of Monday, only these four lectures have been confirmed, but Shimada said more are in the works. Most will take place on Saturdays, but some will happen on other days to accommodate a variety of schedules. Additional Pop-Up Program lectures will appear online at ebeysreserve.com as they are scheduled.

Each lecture will last approximately half an hour. Attendees who do not wish to stand for the duration of the presentation are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.