Visit the JeffCo HomeShow

Come to the JeffCo HomeShowTM and then stay awhile

Bishop Hotel

Port Townsend is but a couple of hours from Seattle, and yet it remains a century apart. It is a haven for that which is old and majestic. It is one of the three registered historic seaports in the U.S. The other two? Galveston, Texas and Cape May, New Jersey.

In the latter part of the 1800s, Port Townsend was one of the toughest towns on the West Coast. It was well known for the 17 saloons and dozen brothels that lined its waterfront. Thriving businesses were built on the promise of the coming railroad — and then lost when the railroad chose to go through the small town of Seattle instead.

Haller FountainBy the end of the 1890s, the "City of Dreams" had become a nightmare. Businesses went bust. Construction stopped on the huge downtown buildings, the outside brickwork barely complete. Except perhaps for the first floors, they would remain vacant shells for a century.

Nearly 100 years before this town's dreams crumbled, Captain George Vancouver first sailed the HMS Discovery into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in 1792. Camped on the shore, near Point Hudson, the explorer no doubt noted the deep harbor, along which would one day rise the seaport of Port Townsend.

Boat building began in this area in about 1850, soon after the first settlers arrived. But, for the most part, wooden boats just passed through Port Townsend, using her as needed. Of the more than 550 vessels built on the Puget Sound in 1899, only two were created locally.

Ann Starrett MansionPort Townsend now lays claim to being the wooden boat mecca of the northwest. This re-creation of the once-sleepy town began with the mid-1970s resurgence of interest in the traditional methods of wooden boat construction.

Today, a stroll through downtown Port Townsend reveals not a town of the 21st century, but a haven for that which is old and majestic, mixed with a healthy dose of tourism. Quaint shops, fine dining, and an active arts community — all nestled in the heart of one of the most beautiful areas in the world.



Some Interesting Links In and Around Jefferson County

First Alert Weather from Chimacum School
Washington State Ferries schedules
Port Townsend Victorian Festival is also May 2-4

City Guide
Port Townsend City Guide

Places to Stay

Special JeffCo HomeShow rates at:
The Washington Hotel ($10 off per room... now $115-$180)

Other great places to stay
All About Accommodations and More
Siebenbaum Suite and Eisenbeis Condo
Jefferson County Fairgrounds (camping/RV)
Crow's Haven on Discovery Bay
The Waterstreet Hotel
The Palace Hotel

Port Townsend Leader Online
Peninsula Daily News
Olympic Business Journal

Chambers of Commerce
Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce
Port Ludlow Chamber of Commerce
Port Hadlock/Tri-Area Chamber of Commerce
Quilcene-Brinnon Chamber of Commerce

Jefferson County government
Port Townsend city government

Port Townsend School District
Chimacum School District
Washington State University
University of Washington (distance learning)
Peninsula College
Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding
Port Townsend School of Woodworking

Jefferson County Rural Library
Port Townsend Public Library

Fort Worden State Park
Fort Flagler State Park
Olympic Music Festival
Port Ludlow Yacht Club
Port Townsend Yacht Club

Golf Courses
Port Ludlow Golf Course
Port Townsend Golf Course

WSU Team Jefferson
Wooden Boat Foundation
Wild Olympic Salmon
Youra Guides and Maps
Jefferson County Home Builders Association
Jefferson Healthcare
Harrison Medical Center
Olympic Medical Center
East Jefferson County Religious Organizations
Jefferson County Historical Society

Port Townsend Marine Science Center




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Photos courtesy of Sandy Hershelman.


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