From Whom Was the Picnic Table Borne?

In 2015, the Orcas Island High School woodshop class built a picnic table. The table was designed by Mark Padbury, and the work was done by Mason Brown and Henry McMurray. Brown graduated in 2015, and McMurray will graduate this Saturday. McMurray cut out the Orcas Island insignia on the frame of the picnic table freehand. The wish for this table was that it would be treated nicely and respectfully without damage.

Mason Brown / Contributed Photo

Sadly, this piece of art was broken this past fall. When it was broken, the administration was not informed. When the table was taken to the woodshop to be fixed, it was discovered that several of the bolts that should have been present had been taken out. The table probably broke because of this; it was structurally unsound.


“[The table] hasn’t been cared for in the way something that was donated to the school should be,” said Principal Kyle Freeman. However, he also added that he felt that any graffiti and dirtiness was probably not intentional, and was simply the result of mindlessness. It was not the intent to be disrespectful of the property. Nonetheless, the result was a mess that someone had to clean up or fix. While many people requested that the table be put back, no one asked to help repair it.

At the woodshed where the table now resides, the surface was sanded down by various classes, including Woodshop, AP Physics, and Tiny House. The table is mostly repaired with a few bolts left to be replaced. The surface has been oiled to preserve the wood, but no lacquer has been added to stop people from being able draw on it. It is the opinion of the administration that the school should not have to graffiti-proof school property; people should respect it on their own. As of now, no decision has been made as to where the table will stay. However, Brett McFarland has suggested that the table will remain in the back courtyard by the woodshop for students to enjoy when it is warm.

Due to the new tools in the woodshop, recreating this picnic table is now easy. McFarland hopes that creating picnic tables will be a future project for the woodshed class. He mentioned that people are always asking him if OHS makes them to sell. This would be an opportunity to fund raise for the school and woodshop program, while providing students with skills and involving the community in student learning.