Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
This sprawling 17,400-acre reserve represents a pioneering cooperative effort between a local community and the National Park Service to preserve and protect a rural community. The concept began with a grass-roots effort in the 1970s. In 1978 the US Congress officially recognized these efforts by designating a number of parcels in the area as the nation's first historical reserve. The reserve's mission is to preserve the land and spirit of the past and the various cultural and geographical elements that formed the community and its traditions. Some 90 percent of the reserve encompasses private lands, still put to use in farms and other traditional rural activities. Two state parks are also fall within the preserve: Fort Casey and 645-acre Fort Ebey State Park. The Island County Historical Museum serves as the visitor information center for the reserve (908 N.W. Alexander St.). At the heart of the reserve lies some 5,000 acres of prairie land. The sweeping natural expanse of Ebey's Prairie sprawls between Penn Cove and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, bisected by a 1mi trail that leads from Ebey's Landing beach (foot of Ebey Rd.) through the prairie to hilltop Sunnyside Cemetery (Cook & Sherman Rds.). The cemetery offers views of the prairie and surrounding seas and contains the headstones of some of the region's pioneer families, as well as the 1855 James Davis Blockhouse. Two smaller prairies-Crockett and Smith-lie to the east and are also protected within the preserve.