Friday Harbor, Washington

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{land, century, early}
{food, make, wine}
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{build, building, house}
{town, population, incorporate}
{island, water, area}
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{city, large, area}
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Friday Harbor is a town in San Juan County, Washington, United States. The population was 2,130 at the 2008 Census Bureau estimate.[3] Located on San Juan Island, Friday Harbor is the major commercial center of the San Juan Islands archipelago and is the county seat of San Juan County.[4]



In 1845 the Hudson's Bay Company laid claim to San Juan Island. In 1850 they built a salmon curing station. A few years later they started a sheep farm.[5]

The town's name originates from Joseph Poalie Friday, a a native Hawaiian. Friday worked at the Hudson's Bay Company's Cowlitz sheep farm from 1841 to 1859-60 and later moved north to San Juan Island, raising and herding sheep around the harbor.[6]

After the peaceful settlement obtained following the Pig War, the San Juan Islands became a separate county in 1873. Friday Harbor was named the county seat.[7]

Friday Harbor was officially incorporated on February 10, 1909. It remains the only incorporated town in the San Juan Islands.[8]

Sailing ships, and later, the steamships of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, visited the harbor on a regular basis hauling passengers, mail and freight. Freight from the island would include apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, peas, cream, eggs, chickens, grain, salmon, and lime. All were produced on or around San Juan Island. The Great Depression, World War II, the pea weevil, and competition from Eastern Washington growers brought about the decline of traditional island industries, diminishing Friday Harbor's export trade. The 1960s brought new industries - tourism, retirement, real estate, and construction. Today, Friday Harbor is again busy and prosperous.

Osamu Shimomura harvested jellyfish from the docks of the harbor. Eventually he purified the proteins that allow the jellyfish to fluoresce green when exposed to blue light. One of them, Green fluorescent protein is now widely used as a marker of molecular activity.[9]

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