Bainbridge Island is a very nice place to spend the day. If you come on foot, via the ferry, you’ll enjoy visiting the town center and its charming main street shops. You can also visit the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, which is located off a little side street.
This small museum is a great resource for learning about the history of the island. The volunteer docent who greets you will explain what there is to see in the museum and give you some details on the history of the island and of the people who have made a mark on it.
Relive a century of Bainbridge Island’s history: the appearance of sawmills, shipbuilding industry, farming, the start of the Strawberry Festival, and especially the internment of Japanese nationals and Americans of Japanese origin in 1942.
Artifacts, films, and photos bring to life the tragedy that the Japanese residents of the time had to endure. You can see one particular photo of a baby in the arms of her mother, and learn that the baby is one of the few who returned from exile (and who lives there still, though she is quite old). Not many came back: those who did had to begin again from scratch.
The Japanese Memorial
If you come to the island in a car, in addition to being able to visit the town center, you’ll have the opportunity to see the rest of the island, including the Japanese Memorial.
There is no explanation at the memorial, which is why it is a good idea to first visit the museum in town. The memorial is a very simple design in wood; a story wall leads down to the sea. It is a lovely moment of memory.
Signs are beautifully made, simply containing brief accounts of just a few sentences.
After taking a walk on the beach, go down to the point from where you will have a very nice view of Seattle.