Olympic Peninsula Travel Region
Port Townsend, Washington

The historical circumstances that saw the boom and bust of this seaside town, also worked to leave us with a wonderfully romantic combination of Victorian architecture overlooking the glorious Puget Sound. During the 1800s shipping magnates and other business speculators built grand homes and businesses. As economic fortunes moved elsewhere, these buildings escaped subsequent development and the downtown area is now designated a National Historic District. Some of the historic buildings offer accommodations and/or tours, and historic Water Street houses art galleries, antique shops, gift stores and restaurants. The combination of architectural and natural beauty attracts artists and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Port Townsend was officially settled in 1851 with dreams that the site's good anchorage would see it become the largest harbor on the west coast. The seaport prospered in the 1880's, when many of its superb buildings were built and its population reached a peak of 7,000. Montana However, Port Townsend saw a rapid decline in population when the Northern Pacific Railroad failed to connect the city to the eastern Puget Sound city of Tacoma. By the late 1890's the boom was over. Noteworthy buildings include the Carnegie Library, the US Post Office, and The Rose Movie Theater.

Originally named 'Port Townshend' by Captain George Vancouver for his friend the Marquis of Townshend, in 1792.

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