The Quaker Cove that we know and love today originally had its roots in the early activities of Friends in Puget Sound Quarterly Meeting, then a subdivision of Indiana Yearly Meeting. These Friends began having youth conferences at rented facilities around the Northwest as early as 1916.
In 1930 a search group from Friends Memorial Church in Seattle (now North Seattle Friends Church) was formed to find a property which could be used as a conference grounds. They found part of a farm on Fidalgo Island, which was then purchased and named Quaker Cove. Conferences began to be held each July on the undeveloped property, which only had one small shack in case of bad weather, and water had to be carried in from a neighbor’s well.
The first ongoing conference, which started in 1930, was called North West Young Friends Conference Cruise, and the theme that year was “Fishers of Men.”
The camp began to grow as additional property was purchased, power lines were run onto the property and a well was dug for water. Friends could lease a lot on the original 7 acres for just $10 a year, and the camp saw several small rustic cabins built, which were always made available for larger group conferences. In 1948, Quaker Cove gave individual Quakers the option of buying lots and building their own cabins or houses. In 1948 the first “family camp” was held. (Pictures below are of 1949 family camp).
In the 50’s and 60’s, Quaker Cove used the income from the sale of those lots to build some summer use cabins, the dining hall, and central restroom building. Volunteers came forward to donate time and money and did the hard work of building these cabins themselves. Both Quaker groups and groups from other Christian denominations used Quaker cove for church retreats, youth camps, and family camps. The camp also hired a caretaker to watch over the now 27 acre property and take care of basic maintenance.
In the 1980’s the non-profit, Quaker Cove, started re-aquiring the private lots and cabins in order to expand the camp. Some families even generously donated their land and cabins back to the camp. The donation of these family built (and somewhat winterized) cabins has made it possible for the camp to have some smaller groups visit the camp year-round.
Over the years Quaker Cove has had many faithful volunteers who have given sacrificially of their time and money to be able to keep the camp running even through hard times. We are so thankful for all who have contributed!
In 2014, the Quaker Cove Board agreed to hire Karl and Liz (Sugden) Seume as its first full-time on site directors to start in 2015. It is our goal, moving into the future, to develop the camp and make it more useable year round. We want to improve and add to its facilities so it can be used more and by more groups. We also want to create some exciting new programs ourselves, and add some educational features to the camp for use by our own programs and visiting groups.