The Gibson’s originally emigrated from Scotland to Ontario, Canada in the mid-1800’s and then moved to Seattle in 1889 to settle in the Capitol Hill area. At that time the family consisted of William and Mary Gibson and their eight children; James, William, Bessie, Janet, John, Isabella, Edward, and Margaret.
The younger children attended the local Seattle Public Schools and later, both Edward and Margaret attended the University of Washington where Edward received a degree in Forestry.
The eldest sons, James and William, worked for the Moran Bros shipyard; James as Robert Moran’s personnel secretary and William as an electrician. Together they helped the Moran’s build the battleship U.S.S. Nebraska which was launched in 1904. James stayed in touch with Robert Moran after Moran retired from shipbuilding in 1905 and moved to Orcas Island. In 1911 James followed him to Orcas where Moran had purchased a large estate including what is today Moran State Park and Rosario Resort.
Soon after arriving on Orcas, the rest of his family; including James’ young daughter Virginia, his parents, and his siblings also moved to North Beach. James’ parents, along with other members of the family moved into the 1890’s Farmhouse at the top of the hill.
By the time the business was expanded in 1932, William and Mary’s youngest son, Edward and his wife Edna Hull Gibson, had taken over management and operations. It was Edna who originally had the vision for patterning the Lodge after a Scottish style roadside inn and for many years she remained the heart and soul of North Beach. After her death in 1968 her children Mary, Sally, and Gordon took over management.
Over the past 100 plus years many generations of the Gibson family have been intimately involved in maintaining the property and the business, and to this day members of the family continue to make their home on Orcas Island.