Actually, I don’t have twenty reasons to visit Port Townsend. I have but two: it’s a quaint town, it’s easy to get to, easy to stroll about and boasts several good little eateries. Sorry, that’s four. But at least I’m keeping you on your toes.
Port Townsend is a small seaside town on the north-east tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The town, with around 10,000 inhabitants and many visitors, dates back to Victorian times, during which time it saw most of its development as one of the busiest ports on the Puget Sound.
Unfortunately, it never grew quite as expected, with the Washington railway system never making it that far north. As a result, it lost out to towns like Tacoma and Seattle, which continued to develop, while Port Townsend saw a steady decline.
Fortunately the military base at Fort Worden north of town and a paper mill, which was built south-west of town in the 1920s, kept the town ticking over. And then, from the 1970s more artistic types and retirees moved to town, people began restoring the Victorian buildings and the town saw a bit of a revival as a tourist destination. That’s why I went for the afternoon.
Take a walk with me, why don’t you?
(Click on images for bigger versions and short descriptions.)
The Jefferson County Courthouse was built in 1891 and the clocktower, which was meant to be 140 feet tall but ended up at slightly over 124 feet, was completed in 1892.
I wonder why Miranda was so special? On the wall of the Uptown Theatre in Polk Street.
The Bell Tower on the bluff above downtown was used from 1890 to the 1940s to call volunteer firefighters.
The Haller Fountain and Galatea Statue, located at the base of the Taylor Street stairs, was ordered from a catalogue in 1905, and was presented to the city the following year. The statue was originally cast by the J. L. Mott Foundry in New York, which made plumbing fixtures.
The Hastings Building, on the corner of Water and Taylor streets, was completed in 1890.
Cute store, Water Street.
Looking west on Water Street downtown.
The entrance to a house in Clay Street uptown.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on the bluff overlooking downtown Port Townsend is the oldest church in town. It was built in 1862 and moved by its parishioners to its present position on rollers in 1882.
Ann Starrett House, in uptown Port Townsend, was built in 1889. Its tower includes a two-tier free-hung circular stairway, which is believed to be the last of its kind in America.
Commanding Officers’ Quarters, Fort Worden State Park.
“Tree of Heaven” mural in Polk Street downtown.
Looking west and walking south. Corner Water and Taylor Streets downtown.
Mural on the Hastings building, Taylor Street, downtown.
“Genuine Bull Durham” tobacco mural downtown.
The Rose Theatre building, Taylor Street, downtown.
Palace Hotel façade on Water Street downtown.
Another angle on the Hastings Building downtown taken from the Taylor Street steps leading uptown.
Looking north from the ferry towards the jetty leading off Taylor Street.
Point Wilson Lighthouse with Mount Baker in the background. The lighthouse in its current form was built in 1913 and fully automated in 1976.