Point of Departure for the Islanders
The Departure Deck sits at the exact location of the former Eagledale Ferry Dock—which was once a second stop for the ferry to Seattle—directly across Eagle Harbor from the Winslow ferry terminal. It was here the Japanese were ordered to report on the morning of March 30, 1942. Mothers with children, families, and the elderly walked the path that currently fronts the Memorial Wall, bringing only what they could carry and departing for an unknown destination for an indeterminate amount of time. An historic, large Western Red Cedar that stood witness beside the Eagledale ferry dock in 1942 still graces the eastern shoulder of the deck.
The Departure Deck was dedicated on March 30, 2021. Interpretive artwork was commissioned and dedicated in September, 2022.
The Departure Deck was designed to evoke the sense of fear and uncertainty that inevitably plagued the exiled Japanese as they departed for the unknown. The deck was designed by local architect Johnpaul Jones, an American Indian and the principal of Jones & Jones Architects of Seattle and constructed by Clark Construction of Bainbridge Island.
The 10-minute documentary, “Point of Departure” by filmmaker Katie Jennings, describes the concept and fabrication behind the artwork on the Departure Deck. The works, by artists Anna Brones and Luc Revel, were inspired by photographic images taken on the day of forced removal. An imposing mid-span gate was designed by Timber Framers Guild craftsman John Buday using the Shou Sugi Ban Japanese woodburning technique.