Port Gamble, less than 20 minutes from Port Ludlow, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and a fantastic place to spend an afternoon.
On a warm August day, I explored the quaint town full of historical buildings, quirky shops, and beautiful scenery – including a gorgeous dahlia garden outside the old post office now converted to a community center. Everywhere you looked kids were biking, tourists were exploring, and beauty was everywhere from the architecture to the dahlia garden to the views of Puget Sound.
I started my afternoon adventure at the Port Gamble Museum. The museum which opened in the 1970s was originally an office for the Port Gamble mill. The museum features artifacts and creative vignettes providing the interesting and unique history of the area. One of my favorite vignettes was of Admiralty Hall.
Admiralty Hall was a mansion that later became a hotel in Port Ludlow. The building was constructed by Cyrus Walker, manager of the Port Gamble mill. Admiralty Hall was built in 1887 and was approximately a block long. Admiralty Hall sat approximately where the Beach Club resides today. In 1914, the building was remodeled as a hotel. During the early stages of WWII, the Admiralty Hotel was sold for scrap and demolished.
Many of the historic homes you see in Port Gamble were originally built in Port Ludlow and were barged over to Port Gamble, including the Morrill Pope House which was barged to Port Gamble in 1929. As you stroll through the town, there are signs out front of the historic homes now converted into businesses that detail the history of the residence.
After window shopping at Mrs. Muir’s, Tango Zulu Imports, and a variety eclectic shops, I found myself in the Port Gamble General Store. The General Store has been a staple in Port Gamble since 1916. The current building is the 5th version of the store .The original building was constructed in 1853 on the mill site. Mill employees could pick up their paychecks or purchase coffee, groceries, clothing, toys, and tools. The store was serviced by settlers, sailors, loggers, and the S’Klallam tribe. After perusing the store I had worked up an appetite and headed into the restaurant. I enjoyed a delicious black bean burger and fries before leaving Port Gamble for the day.
Visiting Port Gamble is a memorable excursion that will enhance you knowledge of the region while you eat, explore, and enjoy your way through this U.S. National Historic Landmark.
Written by: Kaitlin Chester