Roche Harbor's deep, protected waters and abundant resources inspired poets, one of whom wrote in 1903, "A rock-bound coast hems in a wealth of verdant pastures sweet; / Deep forests cover vale and hill where fresh and salt waters meet." For millennia, this was the home of the Lummi and Songhees people. The British established a military camp near here in 1860 to maintain their claim to the San Juan Islands. Limestone was quarried here for 90 years, helping to build West Coast cities as well as personal fortunes. Roche Harbor continues to be a favorite gathering place for boating, fishing, and kayaking—a gateway to the splendors of the American San Juan Islands and the Canadian Gulf Islands.