Captain Whidbey Inn

whid isle inn nestled among old growth firs on shore of whidby island

The Captain Whidbey was built in 1907 from logs and stone found on site by Chris Fisher and his son Edward. In the years since, it has served as a private residence, a boarding house, post office, girl’s school, and a general store. It has recently been restored and is now open to the public as an inn. Read more about the history of the inn below.

Since 1907, Captain Whidbey has been a place of natural beauty, community gathering and quiet delight. A place where people — locals and visitors alike — do things together, even if those things are simply eating, drinking, and looking out across the water. Charged with the past to carry us into the future, Captain Whidbey will be a place where things happen, and where time slows down so that living, too, can happen here.

the bar at the main lodge
The citizens of Whidbey Island will tell you in detail the triumphs and scars of the island’s past, and regale you with tales of days at the Captain Whidbey Inn. They will tell you of summer jobs, first loves, the greening at Christmas, the dances in the gazebo, the Dickens dinners, the kids running on the lawn. They will tell you of the innkeeper who was like a second father, the dahlias that they could see from the water, as big as their heads. They will tell you of boating up for a beer, the awkward dates, the weddings, the mussels and martinis, the skinny dipping in the lagoon, the secret corners and the phosphorescents in the water. The reason that the citizens will tell you all this, is because Captain Whidbey, in essence, is theirs too.

the main lodge
The presence of the inn itself demands a kind of myth-making. Its hulking imperfections, hidden staircases and infinite doorways, narrow pathways and intricate stonework, call to mind an honest, handmade world, where times were slower and things made to last. Rumors of its past are worn proudly on its proverbial sleeve — stripped wood where there once was a second floor balcony, prominently displayed plaques of historic register, rows of tarnished mirrors, a pipe organ and creaking floorboards. The front door was originally the back door because most guests arrived by boat.

archival image of the Inn

the lodge, today
It was a boarding house, private residence, post office, general store and girl’s school. There were dances and orchestras and Charles Dickens dinners. Even the name of the Inn has changed — as if the original name, Whid Isle Inn, was a working title abandoned for something better suited to the evolving story. In all this, there is comfort. Nostalgia for a time gone, and proof that it still exists.