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About Lummi Island Heritage

About This Collection

Lummi Island Heritage is a project of Washington Rural Heritage, a collection of historically significant materials residing in libraries, heritage institutions, and private collections throughout Washington State. The collection includes photographs, documents, and artifacts which tell the stories of Washington's small and rural communities.


Ray Smith on the shore of Legoe Bay, Lummi Island, 1956Ray Smith at Legoe Bay
Lummi Island, 1956.

Private collection of Craig Smith.
Courtesy of the Island Library, FOIL.
The Lummi Island Reef Net Fishing Collection represents a digitization effort undertaken in 2008-2009, by Friends of the Island Library (FOIL) in partnership with the Island Library (Whatcom County Library System) and the Lummi Island Community Club.


In the late 1800s, settlers on Lummi Island adopted reef-netting—a fishing technique developed by local Native American Indian tribes. Reef-netting provided not only personal food but also served as a basis for the development of a processing and canning industry that provided stable employment for Island inhabitants. Succeeding years saw significant changes to the fishing industry, but a small contingent of individuals, utilizing these same reef-netting techniques, is still active today.


Highlights from the Lummi Island Reef Net Fishing Collection include:

Rights & Use

Many items from the Lummi Island Heritage collection are under protection of copyright. Please contact the Island Library to inquire about necessary permissions to use the items in this collection.


By the use of these digital images, texts, audio, and video recordings, users agree to the following:


  • Materials may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior written permission from the copyright owner and/or owning institution. The Washington State Library (WSL) does not have authority to grant such permission.
  • Materials may be used for purposes of research, teaching and private study. You must contact the Lummi Island Library for permission related to other uses.
  • Credit must be given to the contributing institution(s) (e.g., 'Courtesy of the Island Library, Whatcom County Library System'). Please see the "Contributing Institution" field for individual items.
  • Materials may not be re-published in print or electronic form without prior written permission from the Island Library, Whatcom County Library System.
  • Materials may not be mounted on an additional server for public use, or for use by a set of subscribers without prior written permission from the Island Library, Whatcom County Library System.

View the Washington Rural Heritage Rights & Use Statement for additional information.



Whatcom County Library System

Mission: Connecting information, ideas, and community. Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) is a rural library district serving the northwest corner of Washington State. WCLS provides county residents with the full range of library services including books, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, music, computers, internet, WiFi, fun events, and great reference services to all ages. Lummi Island, one of the San Juan Islands, lies at the southwest corner of Whatcom County, WA, between the mainland part of the county and offshore San Juan County. The Island Library, serving residents since the 1980s, is located across the street from the ferry landing on the east side of the island. It overlooks Hale’s Passage and the Lummi Indian Reservation. The Friends of the Island Library (FOIL) are the owners and caretakers of the facility.

Washington Rural Heritage home

Contributing Institutions

Whatcom County Library System, home page



Island Library, WCLS


Island Library, WCLS

Karly Tucker, Library Manager

(360) 305-3600

2144 So. Nugent Road

P.O. Box 90

Lummi Island, WA 98262

This project is supported with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

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