In 1851, Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey was among the first of the permanent settlers to the island, but his life was cut short in 1857 when he was slain by northern coastal Indians seeking revenge for the killing of one of their own chieftains. Today some farmers of Central Whidbey still ploy land claims established by their families in the 1850s. The reserve is more than 17,000 acres and is 85% privately owed.
Jacob and Sarah (Isaac parents) Ebey House
Ebey Blockhouse, one of four blockhouses still intact. A set of four blockhouses connected by a 12 foot stockade was first established in 1855 during the Yakima Indian War (1855-1858) by Jacob Ebey on a ridge overlooking Jacob’s Sunnyside farm. Ebey’s family escaped to the blockhouse but the indians killed, scalped and beheaded Coloneil Ebey. Several more blockhouses (11) were built as a result of this murder.
Davis Blockhouse located at Sunnysde Cemetary. The blockhouse was built late 1957 during the Yakima Indian War in response to the August 1857 murder of Isaac Ebey by hostile Indians.
For more information on the Blockhouses see “Hidden History: Blockhouses still stand guard”
Thomas Coupe was 57 years old when he died and was buried at Sunnyside Cemetary in Ebey Reserve. Sunnyside Cemetery was founded in 1953 when Isaac Ebey setting aside a portion of his land for a family burial ground when hsi wife Rebecca died at the age of thrity. He situated it close by the family home and garden just above Ebey’s Landing. In 1857 the thirty nine year old Isaac joined Rebecca and 1865 Mary ebey Bozarth was the last surviving Isaac sibling and when she decided to bury her brother Winfield it was the start of what would become Sunnyside Cemetery.