Cook Family Conservation Easement
Year Protected: 1994
Land Protected: 17 acres
Shorline Protected: 800 feet
Public Benefits: Historic structures, agricultural lands, shoreline
Bill and Elaine Cook’s property, located on the north side of Waldron Island, includes over 800 feet of natural shoreline and signs that it was an active Native American site. The shoreline can be viewed from the waters of Boundary Pass and possesses bald eagle and peregrine falcon foraging habitat. Old-growth Douglas fir stands and open meadows provide a variety of wildlife habitat. Recognizing the special character of their 17-acre parcel, the Cooks decided in 1994 to place it under permanent protection.
Conserving the open space, natural shoreline and forested character of the property would be reason enough for celebration, but there is more: the Cook property also contains the finest example of a 19th century homestead on Waldron Island, called in a 1959 survey “the most substantial of the old pioneer homesteads left” on the island. Originally built by German immigrants in the 1890’s, the hand-hewn log house is still in use as a residence. Certified as an historic district by the Washington State Office of Archaeology and History Preservation in 1993, it was entered on the National Register of Historic Places that same year. All necessary upkeep and remodeling must be in accordance with the historical registry requirements.
The property has belonged to the Cook family since the mid-1940’s. Bill, Elaine, and their four children restored the old homestead, and now enjoy it as a spring-through-fall residence. Future use of the property will be limited to two residences (including the homestead).