Harstine Island was named during the Wilke's Expedition for Lt. Henry J. Hartstine. This was a an early U.S. Naval expedition of the Puget Sound and West Coast.

Harstine Island was accessed by ferry from 1922 to 1969, when the ferry service was replaced by a bridge.

The spelling of the name "Harstine" was often confused. Publications and maps listed spellings of Hartstein, Harstiene, Harstene and Harstine. Lt. Henry J. Hartstine had himself published his name with spelling variations.

Jarrell Cove state park was acquired in four parcels between 1953 and 1969.
The park is named after Mrs. Philura Jarrel*, the first pioneer woman to settle on the island.
*Note that Philura Jarrel's name is also not spelled exactly as the Park named for her.