Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve near Coupeville plans to open the historic Ferry House to the public for tours for the first time since 2010 as part of a fundraising event for the reserve.
The Ferry House was built around 1860 as a hotel for people who traveled by boat from Port Townsend to Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island. It also served as a post office, mercantile and favorite rendezvous for mariners whose ships were anchored nearby. More recently, the building played a role in the 1999 movie "Snow Falling on Cedars," based on the David Guterson's novel of the same name.
In July 2011, Ebey's Reserve Field School volunteers, University of Oregon students and Coupeville Lions Club members worked to stabilize, restore and preserve the old building.
Also offered Saturday afternoon are tours of three other historic buildings located within the reserve, including the Comstock Barn, built circa 1939; Engle Water Tower, circa 1911; and the Sheepherder's House, circa 1900.
The fundraising event is billed as a rare opportunity.
Tickets for the event, $75, include a catered supper picnic of local foods, live music, a raffle and tours led by veteran docents. Proceeds from the event are to be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor. Tickets are available at www.ebeysforeverfund.org or by calling the Trust Board of Ebey's Landing at 360-678-6084.
Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve is the nation's first historical reserve and the only unit of the National Park Service managed by a trust board of local, state and federal people. Created in 1978, its aim is to protect the rural landscape on central Whidbey Island.
The reserve includes 17,500 acres of farms, historical structures, prairies, state parks, miles of shoreline and trails, as well as Coupeville, one of the oldest towns in Washington. For more information about Ebey's Landing, go to www.nps.gov/ebla.
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