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Bainbridge Island, Washington facts for kids

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Bainbridge Island, Washington
City of Bainbridge Island
Washington State Ferries ferry landing on Bainbridge Island
Washington State Ferries ferry landing on Bainbridge Island
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location of Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island, Washington is located in Washington (state)
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location in Washington (state)
Bainbridge Island, Washington is located in the United States
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location in the United States
Bainbridge Island, Washington is located in North America
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Location in North America
Country United States
State Washington
County Kitsap
Named for William Bainbridge
 • Type Council–manager
 • Body City council
 • Total 65.08 sq mi (168.55 km2)
 • Land 27.61 sq mi (71.52 km2)
 • Water 37.46 sq mi (97.03 km2)
200 ft (60 m)
 • Total 23,025
 • Estimate 
 • Density 916.13/sq mi (353.72/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 206
FIPS code 53-03736
GNIS feature ID 1512809

Bainbridge Island is a city and island in Kitsap County, Washington, United States, located in Puget Sound. The population was 23,025 at the 2010 census and an estimated 25,298 in 2019, making Bainbridge Island the second largest city in Kitsap County.

The island is separated from the Kitsap Peninsula by Port Orchard, with Bremerton lying to the southwest. Bainbridge Island is a suburb of Seattle, connected via the Washington State Ferries system and to Poulsbo and the Suquamish Indian Reservation by State Route 305, which uses the Agate Pass Bridge.


In 1792, English explorer Captain George Vancouver spent several days with his ship HMS Discovery anchored off Restoration Point at the southern end of Bainbridge Island while boat parties surveyed other parts of Puget Sound. Vancouver spent a day exploring Rich Passage, Port Orchard, and Sinclair Inlet. He failed to find Agate Passage and so his maps show Bainbridge Island as a peninsula. Vancouver named Restoration Point on May 29, the anniversary of the English Restoration, in honor of King Charles II.

In 1841, US Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes visited the island while surveying the Northwest. Lt. Wilkes named the island after Commodore William Bainbridge, commander of the frigate USS Constitution in the War of 1812. Bainbridge Island was originally a center for the logging and shipbuilding industries. The island was known for huge and accessible cedars, which were especially in demand for ships' masts. The original county seat of Kitsap County was at Port Madison on the north end of the island.

Bainbridge Island (Wash.) evacuation -- Group of young evacuees wave from special train as it leaves Seattle with Island evacuees, March 30, 1942
A group of Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island wave the American flag and give the victory sign as they are forcibly evacuated to an internment camp, March 30, 1942.

The first generation of Japanese immigrants, the Issei, came in 1883. During World War II, Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island were the first to be sent to internment camps, an event commemorated by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, which opened in 2011. They were held by the US government through the duration of the war for fear of espionage. Many Filipinos who assisted the Japanese farmers were left to operate the strawberry fields, which they did successfully. Filipino farmers went north to locate First Nations families to work in the fields. Many romances arose from the berry fields and the birth of the Indo-Pinos emerged.

The city of Bainbridge Island has occupied the entire island since February 28, 1991, when the former City of Winslow (around 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of land on Eagle Harbor, incorporated August 9, 1947) annexed the rest of the island. Since the 1960s, Bainbridge Island has become an increasingly affluent bedroom community of Seattle, a 35-minute ride away on the Washington State Ferries.


Ferry Wenatchee enroute to Bainbridge Island WA
The ferry Wenatchee en route from Seattle to Bainbridge Island
Aerial view of Bainbridge Island and Agate Passage in Olympic Peninsula
Aerial view of the northern part of Bainbridge Island adjoining Puget Sound, with Agate Passage in center
Bainbridge Island aerial from southeast
Aerial view of Bainbridge Island from the southeast, showing the Bainbridge Island ferry from Seattle making the first of two turns to bring it into Eagle Harbor

Bainbridge Island was formed during the last ice age—13,000 to 15,000 years ago—when the 3,000-foot-thick (910 m) Vashon Glacier scraped out the Puget Sound and Hood Canal basins.

Bainbridge Island is located within the cool Puget Sound Basin, east of the Kitsap Peninsula, directly east of the Manette Peninsula and west of the City of Seattle. The island is approximately five miles (8 km) wide and ten miles (16 km) long, encompassing nearly 17,778 acres (71.95 km2), and is one of the larger islands in Puget Sound.

Bainbridge Island shorelines border the main body of Puget Sound, a large protected embayment, Port Orchard Bay, and two high-current tidal passages, Rich Passage and Agate Pass. The island is characterized by an irregular coastline of approximately 53 miles (85 km), with numerous bays and inlets and a significant diversity of other coastal land forms, including spits, bluffs, dunes, lagoons, cuspate forelands, tombolos, tide flats, streams and tidal deltas, islands, and rocky outcrops. The high point is 425-foot (130 m) Toe Jam Hill.

On the Kitsap Peninsula, Bremerton and Poulsbo lie across the Port Orchard channel to the west, and the city of Port Orchard lies across Rich Passage to the south.

The island is quite hilly and is known for its popular Chilly Hilly bicycle ride every February. This ride has been the unofficial start to the bicycling season in the Pacific Northwest since 1975.

Bainbridge Island is connected to the Kitsap Peninsula by the Agate Pass Bridge, carrying SR 305 over Agate Passage. The only other public way off the island is by the Seattle–Bainbridge ferry, the Washington State Ferries service from the dock at Winslow in Eagle Harbor to Colman Dock (Pier 52) in Seattle.

The island is divided into several different neighborhoods such as, Meadowmeer, Seabold, and Lynwood Center.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 65.02 square miles (168.40 km2), of which, 27.61 square miles (71.51 km2) is land and 37.41 square miles (96.89 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 637
1960 919 44.3%
1970 1,461 59.0%
1980 2,196 50.3%
1990 3,081 40.3%
2000 20,308 559.1%
2010 23,025 13.4%
2019 (est.) 25,298 9.9%
US Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $88,243, and the median income for a family was $108,605. Males had a median income of $65,853 versus $42,051 for females. The per capita income for the city was $37,482. About 3.0% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.

The socioeconomic profile varies significantly between the rural parts of the island and Winslow, its urban center. In contrast to Bainbridge Island as a whole, Winslow is home to households with a wide range of incomes. In 2010, the census block group in which Winslow is located had a median household income of $42,000, less than half of the island's median household income and one-third of several of the island's wealthiest block groups, and also $10,000 less than national and statewide averages. More than half of Winslow households live in rental units, compared to 20% of households across the island.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 23,025 people, 9,470 households, and 6,611 families residing in the city. The population density was 833.9 inhabitants per square mile (322.0/km2). There were 10,584 housing units at an average density of 383.3 per square mile (148.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.0% White, 0.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 3.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 9,470 households, of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 47.7 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.5% were from 25 to 44; 38% were from 45 to 64; and 16.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

Sports and recreation

Landowners have been concerned with keeping a tight control over development, both residential and commercial. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, city and park district maintain "island open space."

In 2001, Bainbridge Island Little League were represented in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the Little League World Series. The island's high school lacrosse team has won state titles, the most recent coming on May 19, 2007. In 2009, the Bainbridge High School Fastpitch team won the Washington 3A State Title. The team also played in the championship game in 2010. In 2011, 2012 and 2018, the Bainbridge High School Girls Lacrosse team won the state championship.

Pickleball was invented by the family of congressman Joel Pritchard at their summer home on Bainbridge Island in 1965. It is similar to badminton and tennis, but played with paddles and a lightweight plastic ball.

Country Club of Seattle, Bainbridge Island
Aerial view of Restoration Point, with the Country Club of Seattle, and Blakely Harbor

Points of interest

  • Space Craft (A non profit arts event presenter)
  • Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
  • Bloedel Reserve
  • Fay Bainbridge Park
  • Battlepoint Park
  • Fort Ward
  • Fort Ward Park
  • Frog Rock
  • Gazzam Lake
  • The Grand Forest
  • Joel Pritchard Park
  • IslandWood, a non-profit outdoor learning school providing environmental education
  • Point White Dock
  • City Hall
  • Wing Point Country Club
  • Meadowmeer Golf and Country Club
  • West Sound Wildlife Shelter, a non-profit wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center.
  • Bainbridge Performing Arts
  • Strawberry Hill Park

Sister cities

Bainbridge has the following sister cities:


Bainbridge Island has four centers of commerce: Winslow, Lynwood Center, Fletcher Bay (also referred to as Island Center), and Rolling Bay. Winslow is the downtown core and has most of the shopping and dining. Lynwood Center on the south end of the island has several restaurants and a small hotel. Fletcher Bay (also referred to as Island Center) has a small grocery store and one restaurant. Rolling Bay is located on the east side of the island.

The local newspapers are the weekly Bainbridge Island Review, Kitsap Sun, and the Bainbridge Islander.

The Buy Nothing Project was founded on Bainbridge Island in July 2013.


Public schools

Bainbridge Island is served by the Bainbridge Island School District, which houses the following public schools:

  • Capt. Johnston Blakely Elementary School (K-4)
  • Capt. Charles Wilkes Elementary School (K-4)
  • Ordway Elementary School (K-4) (offers the El Velero Spanish immersion program)
  • Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School (5-6)
  • Woodward Middle School (7-8)
  • Bainbridge High School (9-12)

BISD also offers home-based and student-directed educational programming under the umbrella of the Commodore Options School:

  • Mosaic Home Education Partnership (K-8)
  • Odyssey Multiage Program (1-8)
  • Eagle Harbor High School (9-12)

Private schools

  • Montessori Country School (PK-6)
  • Madrona School (Unknown, this school currently is not fully functional)
  • St. Cecilia Catholic School (PK-8)
  • The Island School (K-5)
  • Carden Country School (K-8)
  • Hyla School (6-12)

The Puget Sound Naval Academy, formerly the Moran School, operated on the island from 1914 to 1933, and then again from 1937 to 1951.

Notable people

  • Laura Allen, actress
  • Bruce Barcott, author
  • Jane F. Barry, author, Linksbridge principal
  • Marshall Latham Bond, landlord, employer of Jack London for part of Klondike Gold Rush
  • John Henry Browne, defense attorney
  • Frank Buxton, actor, television writer, author and television director
  • Paul Brainerd, founder of Islandwood
  • Dove Cameron, actress and singer
  • Chad Channing, musician, former drummer with Nirvana
  • Leeann Chin, founder of the Leeann Chin restaurant chain
  • Al Conti, Grammy Nominated Composer
  • Mark Crispin, inventor
  • Ben Eisenhardt (born 1990), American-Israeli professional basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • Jonathan Evison, author
  • Stefan Frei, professional soccer player
  • Bill Frisell, musician
  • Meg Greenfield, editor, The Washington Post editorial page
  • David Guterson, author
  • Kristin Hannah, author
  • Brendan Hill, musician, drummer with Blues Traveler
  • Jay Inslee, governor of Washington
  • Russell Johnson, actor, best known as "The Professor" on Gilligan's Island
  • Chris Kattan, comedian, actor
  • David Korten, economist, author and political activist
  • Damien Lawson, musician, singer with Awaken the Empire
  • Garrett Madison, mountain climber
  • Dinah Manoff, actress
  • Jon Brower Minnoch, heaviest man recorded in history
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, actress
  • Jack Olsen, author
  • John Perkins, author
  • Dav Pilkey, author, illustrator
  • Gifford Pinchot III, author, entrepreneur
  • Jack Prelutsky, poet
  • Kiel Reijnen, professional cyclist, Trek–Segafredo
  • Ben Shepherd, bassist with Soundgarden
  • Emily Silver, Olympic swimmer (silver medalist)
  • Allen Strange, professor of music and director of the electronic music studios San Jose State University
  • Michael Trimble, operatic tenor, voice teacher
  • Ed Viesturs, mountain climber
  • Marcel Vigneron, runner-up of Top Chef, executive chef in Marcel's Quantum Kitchen
  • Susan Wiggs, author
  • Garin Wolf, television writer, playwright
  • Andrew Wood, musician

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bainbridge Island para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
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Joseph M. Acaba
Sidney M. Gutierrez
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John D. Olivas
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