Bainbridge Island, Washington

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Bainbridge Island is an island city in Kitsap County, Washington, United States, located in Puget Sound. The population was 20,308 at the 2000 census but is now estimated at 23,380.

In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine named Bainbridge Island the second-best place to live in the United States.[2]

The local newspapers are the weekly Bainbridge Island Review and the daily Kitsap Sun.



In 1792 George Vancouver spent several days with his ship HMS Discovery anchored off Restoration Point at the southern end of Bainbridge Island while boat parties surveyed other parts of Puget Sound. Vancouver spent a day investigating Rich Passage, Port Orchard, and Sinclair Inlet. He failed to find Agate Passage and so his maps show Bainbridge Island as a peninsula. Vancouver named Restoration Point on May 29, the anniversary of the English Restoration, in honor of King Charles II.[3]

In 1841, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes visited the island while surveying the Northwest. Lt. Wilkes named the island after Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the frigate U.S.S. Constitution in the War of 1812. Bainbridge Island was originally a center for the logging and shipbuilding industries. The island was known for huge and accessible cedars, which were especially in demand for ships' masts. The original county seat of Kitsap County was at Port Madison on the north end of the island. During World War II, Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island were the first to be sent to internment camps. They were held by the U.S. government through the duration of the war for fear of espionage.

The city of Bainbridge Island has occupied the entire island since February 28, 1991, when the former City of Winslow (around 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of land on Eagle Harbor, incorporated August 9, 1947) annexed the rest of the island. Since the 1960s, Bainbridge Island has become an increasingly affluent bedroom community of Seattle, a 35-minute ride away on the Washington State Ferries. The community has been especially concerned with preserving green space and keeping a tight control over development, both residential and commercial. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, city and park district are instrumental in maintaining island open space.

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