About This Place
Point Roberts (known locally as "Point Bob" or "The Point") is an unincorporated community in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. It has a post office, with the ZIP code of 98281, whose ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) had a population of 1,314 at the 2010 census.
A geopolitical oddity, Point Roberts is a part of the United States (that is not an island) that is not physically connected to it, making it a pene-exclave of the U.S. It is located on the southernmost tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, south of Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and can be reached by land from the rest of the United States only by traveling through Canada. It can be reached directly from the rest of Washington and the U.S. by crossing Boundary Bay by sea or air.
The first Europeans to see Point Roberts were members of the 1791 expedition of Francisco de Eliza. The maps produced as a result of Eliza's explorations depicted Point Roberts as "Isla de Cepeda" or "Isla de Zepeda" In 1792 the British expedition of George Vancouver and the Spanish expedition of Dionisio Alcalá Galiano encountered one another near Point Roberts. In the morning of June 13, 1792, the two ships under Galiano sailed into Boundary Bay and verified that Point Roberts was not an island, which was thus renamed Punta Cepeda. They then sailed around Point Roberts and immediately encountered the HMS Chatham, the second ship of Vancouver's expedition. The two parties made contact and soon agreed to share information and work together in mapping the Strait of Georgia. Point Roberts acquired its present name from George Vancouver, who named it after his friend Henry Roberts, who had originally been given command of the expedition. Point Roberts assumed its present political status in 1846, when the Oregon Treaty extended the 49th parallel as the boundary between American and British territory from the Rocky Mountains to Georgia Strait.