Some more local history: The Skagit tribe apparently settled in three permanent villages around the shores of Penn Cove, including one location just west of us. Apparently this area was considered to be the most desirable part of Whidbey Island, since only a few other settlements were scattered on the island (all located on the east side, presumably for weather protection and access to the mainland).
They farmed potatoes around Penn Cove and Ebey’s Prairie until the 1850s when white settlers began taking over the prime farming ground. Potatoes came from white settlers, who originally got potatoes from South America. The ecosystem of the island actually changed considerably in large sections because of the widespread increase of farming, potatoes, and beans.