Until the last few weeks if you looked south while driving over the bridge from Stanwood to Leque Island you saw what were once the farms of the Eide, Leque and Smith families. The island was formed when these farmers came to Stanwood in the late 19th century. They created the island by diking the wetlands at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River where it forked towards Port Susan to the south and Skagit Bay to the West. Diking created farmland to grow their hay, oats and wheat.
This view looked over West Pass of the Stillaguamish River toward what was Leque Island. Dikes that surrounded the “island” were removed this month. Now the island is flooded and there is a raised dike on the North side recently reinforced to protect Stanwood from high tides. The Eide House was still there at the time of the photograph (2003) with snow geese in the background. Farming became impractical and in the 1990s the families sold their farms to the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. For a history of Leque Island read here.