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Orcas Island, Washington, United States
Rosario Resort and Spa is located on beautiful Orcas Island in Washington State's San Juan Islands and welcomes visitors seeking relaxation and the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Centerpiece of Rosario is the historic Moran Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Mansion houses the Moran Museum, The Spa, the Mansion Restaurant and Moran Lounge. To help us keep in touch with our guests, staff, and community, we are offering this blog featuring news and events about Rosario and Orcas Island. Please visit our website at www.rosarioresort.com for more information. If you would like to submit a photo or story idea for posting, please contact General Manager Christopher Peacock at cpeacock@rosarioresort.com.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Now & Then: Tom Tillman

Tom Tillman and his business partner run the sporting goods store, Orcas Outfitters, on the fuel pier at the Rosario Marina on Orcas Island. This photograph with Tom in front of the figurehead and Boatel in 1973 is hanging in the store. We thought this would make a great "Now & Then"

Tom's family originally come to Orcas in the late 1960's to find a Northwest location for a diving resort similar to the one they started in the Bahamas. Since the early days of scuba diving the San Juans have been well known as a premier diving destination. The Tillman's fell in love with Orcas Island on that trip and bought a 25 acre farm on the east side of Orcas. From that point on until today that farm on Orcas has been the home base for Tom's family, most of whom still work in the diving industry. Tom graduated from our local high school in 1989 and went away to college where he studied geology and education. He decided after graduating to return to Orcas and raise his family here as well.

Since that time Tom has owned several local businesses and has written several books and numerous articles on diving history and local history. Tom is also a US Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Examiner and sits on the several advisory boards for fishing and marine issues. When Tom is not on the docks working or volunteering he manages the Scuba America Historical Foundation and he and his wife also own 376 WEAR, a clothing store in Eastsound. (note: 376 is the prefix of Orcas Island phones).

Orcas Outfitters is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and sells fishing gear, fishing licenses, basic replacement diving equipment, boating supplies, sportswear and other sundry items to the boaters and guests who visit the Rosario Marina in the summer.

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