By Valerie Reinke
If You’ve Taken a scenic drive along Crystal Springs, just north of the Point White Pier, you’ve seen—and possibly photographed—two old wooden boats resting on the shore. They represent a tale of two brothers: James and George Munro, sons of a Scottish immigrant, who were raised on Crystal Springs in the early 20th century. The boat to the south is a sailboat, Lady Eve, purchased by James, a local attorney, around 1950. The other is a cruiser that George, a naval shipyard electrician, built himself “right there where it sits today,” said his son Ralph, the former five-term Secretary of State for Washington.
“Dad called it Driftwood, because much of the lumber used in construction was found on the beach.” James’ daughter, Liz Berry, remembers the brothers took trips through the San Juan Islands, “sometimes camping on the beach.” At the season’s end, the boats “were stored and repaired right where they sit now.” When George’s wife, Betty, died in 1962, “he just pulled the boat out of the water,” said Reid Hansen, whose family has been next-door neighbors and fast friends of the Munros for nearly 120 years. James’ sailboat came up on the beach about 10 years after that.
“Old wooden boats always need work,” Hansen explained, and James had had enough. Though no longer seaworthy, the boats are certainly picturesque. According to the Hansens, rarely a day goes by when there isn’t someone taking their picture. Though a tourist once told him they were an eyesore, to Hansen they are simply part of the beauty and history of Crystal Springs.