Is Bainbridge's Vanished Village Better Off Preserved, or As a Park?





On a thickly wooded hillside, blue and white porcelain shards glint under layers of ivy.

What was once a bowl depicting an ornate pattern of cherry blossoms and soaring cranes is now scattered across the forest floor. Nearby, embedded in the surface of the soil, is a brush handle made of bone, a rusted tea kettle and a black leather shoe for very small foot.

This forest overlooking Blakely Harbor is littered with artifacts from Yama, a vanished village that was once home to Bainbridge Island’s earliest Japanese immigrants. Established in the 1890s as a segregated portion of the Port Blakely mill town, Yama in its heyday boasted a general store, tea garden, hotel, bathhouse, Buddhist temple, school, and an ice-cream parlor that was so good, even non-Japanese children ventured in for a taste....


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