Scenic USA - Washington

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of historic sites, points of interest, and a large
sampling of America's parklands. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided, but in no means should they be considered an endorsement.


Port Townsend

Port Townsend - Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

     Billed as the city of dreams, Port Townsend was first established on the Olympic Peninsula in 1851. Surrounded by water and the Olympic Mountains and centered on a natural safe harbor, speculators were confident their town would flourish and filled the city with ornate Victorian homes and Richardsonian Romanesque style buildings. Although Port Townsend became a very active port, its lack of a direct link to the Northern Pacific Railroad never allowed the city to achieve the greatness as was first envisioned.
     Named for Captain George Vancouverís friend, Marquis of Townsend, the city continued for the next 150 years shipping out timber and receiving foreign goods. Fishing and canning also continued as an economic mainstay. Nearby Fort Worden (Fort Worden State Park), with its rows and rows of cookie-cutter housing, also pumped revenue into the city's economy.
     This misty evening scene captures the bustling port city. Hidden beneath a golden glow and imposing mountain ranges are its well preserved Victorian homes, the city's government buildings, and the notable Jefferson County Courthouse, the Rose Theater and Silverwater Cafe. In recognizing this array of historic buildings, the downtown waterfront district was officially designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. With its strong bond to the sea, Port Townsend hosts the annual Wooden Boats Festival, plus the Kinetic Skulpture Race and an annual blues and jazz festival.



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