A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Dean Frey (Lopez Island Coffee Roasters)
Feb 4, 2021
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The family that lived om Flower Island
Feb 4, 2021
I have read there was a family that lived on Flower Island{must of been a lot of flowers there!)....
Flower Island is the small 5 and 1/2 acre island north of Spencer Spit. I believe the house burned down.
The father was a marine biologist/oceanographer and built an underwater observatory on one of the reefs north of the island. The observatory was constructed of concrete with underwater portholes. Remnants of the concrete still remain today. One can see the reef at low tide to the west of the ferry after Frost Island, right before the ferry docks at Lopez.
The father was a scientist(or caveman...)and spent most of his days in his observatory. Every day, his daughter would row a hundred yards out to deliver his lunch to him.
He was known to entertain his friends and company in the observatory when they came to visit.
He also liked to play practical skit jokes. At one time beautiful native mermaids with single fin were on the reef as the ferryboat steamed by. Another time, three or four native Americans with headdresses were on the rock playing cards as the ferry from the lower mainland steamed by. There was no boat tied to the rock, seemed like they were stranded out there.
I've been out to the island once, there is a section to the northwest where there is a natural shelter and possibly a spring.

Does anyone know of this family?
Comment by Dan Post
Feb 22, 2021
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I am looking for any pictures of a house on Flower Island and any pictures of the Observation Post that was by Flower Island. These might be from the 1930’s or 1940’s or 1950’s.
Comment by Bart Smaalders
Feb 18, 2021
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Thanks for the details; I've ordered a copy of "For the Love of Some Islands". My parents bought property overlooking Swifts Bay and Flower Island in 1971 and we used to row out there long before it became a bird sanctuary.
Comment by Dan Post
Feb 13, 2021
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When I was young my Uncle Ray Spencer took me on many adventure and many were in that old flat bottom boat that he would always have me row. Back then everything seemed big as I was very young, even the Observation Post. How big was the hatch, well big enough for a grown man and a small boy to climb through (one at a time). He would always have me go in ... Read All
Comment by Dean Frey (Lopez Island Coffee Roasters)
Feb 11, 2021
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Wow! Great stories, Dan and Dianne!
Questions for Dan? Did the observation post have a entry hatch, and roughly what were the dimensions of the underwater space, and was there a farmhouse out there? Thanks.
Comment by Betsy Currie
Feb 10, 2021
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Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for the link to this wonderful man and his story!
Comment by Dan Post
Feb 6, 2021
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Long before it was a park I lived at Spencer’s Spit as a small child. There were three houses, now long gone, and our family lived just up the hill from Ray and Kate Spencer. My Uncle Ray kept a flat bottom skiff on the North Beach. On occasion when the weather and tide were just right Uncle Ray would have me row him out to the long abandon observation ... Read All
Comment by Diana Sheridan
Feb 5, 2021
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The marine biologist/oceanographer was Floyd Schmoe who wrote the book, For the Love of Some Islands (published in 1964), which included the time he and his family lived on Flower Island. Schmoe was a Quaker, a pacifist and quite involved in Hiroshima after World War II. He was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. His amazing biography and public ... Read All