Washington’s tranquil Shaw Island
Quiet by design, zoning prohibits businesses
SHAW ISLAND, Wash. – This island isn’t all about nuns, but you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid the topic. Especially if you’re driving too fast on that first hairpin curve just up from the ferry dock, and you meet the prioress rounding the corner in her Subaru.
Yes, the head nun of Our Lady of the Rock monastery drives an Outback. She’s a small woman – you might have to look carefully to see the black-and-white wimple above the steering wheel.
Shaw became famous as the “nuns’ island” in the 27 years during which Franciscan sisters operated the rustic wooden ferry dock and ran the neighboring general store. Ferry passengers bound for bigger islands in Washington’s San Juans would line railings to snap photos of the women in their habits as they tended the one-lane auto ramp.
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