In January 1920 prohibition banned the manufacturing, transport and sale of alcohol in the United States. For the next 13 years, Americans had to find crafty ways to bootleg and hide illegal alcohol, which gave birth to the rum-runners of the Pacific Northwest who, thankful for Canada’s close proximity and the openness of the ocean, were able to smuggle Canadian alcohol into Washington State.
The Runners used a small, unassuming cove in what was then known as Canoe Bay as a shipping point and safe haven for their rag-tag fleet of fishing boats. Alcohol was hidden on board and transported across the line to San Juan Island and other locations in Puget Sound. By the end of the 1920s a sheltered marina had been established and was the beginning of what is now Canoe Cove Marina.
Photo Credit: Puget Sound Coast Guardsman standing with captured rumrunning boat, 1920s Courtesy Coast Guard Museum Northwest