Couple made big leap with frog rock then marriage

In 1971, Bainbridge High School students Ellen Barnes and Bob Green decided to reclaim the stacked rocks.

North Kitsap High School students presumably painted the rocks lavender with purple spots and tagged them with “NK Lives.”

Barnes and Green, who were dating, on Paint Night for Bainbridge decided to turn them into a frog (after also considering a duck). The iconic island symbol is located at the intersection of Phelps and Spargur Loop roads and Madison Avenue.

According to this summer’s City of Bainbridge Island Connects newsletter, Green went to Winslow Hardware and got a “gallon of miss-mixed green paint” and pints of red, black and white.

On the night of June 5, Green and Barnes watched three Beatles movies at the Big Bear Drive-In, which was located along Highway 305 between Suquamish and Poulsbo. They then drove to the stacked rocks and painted them.

The stacked rocks had been known as Split Rock. A boulder was blasted in two to make room for a dairy barn around 1940. In the 1950s, a workman stacked one of the two halves on top of the other.

The following year, the pair and some friends kept guard to make sure NK kids didn’t repaint it, and they painted the smaller rock beside it as a ladybug.

Green is a native islander, born at his great-grandparents’ home on Grow. Barnes moved to the island from Portland, Ore., when she was 6 months old.

In 1978, Barnes and Green were married at St. Barnabas Church.

The couple has repainted the frog numerous times, aided by friends, family, neighbors and eventually their two sons. The couple say they hope their two granddaughters will soon be joining in the repainting.

Over the years, Frog Rock has also been costumed by other islanders, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it sported a face mask.

The rock was re-created in a smaller version for the KidsUp! Playground at Battle Point Park and was the inspiration for the 2015 Frogs on the Rock fundraiser, in which local artists painted fiberglass frogs and auctioned them off.

Frog Rock even has its own Wikipedia page.