S’Klallam Tribal members lives were forever changed by the influx of European Americans through disease, poor treaties, and the takeover of land. Port Gamble members refused to relocate to the Skokomish reservation and ended up settling at Point Julia, known now as Little Boston. The transition through modern self governance and preservation of their culture is highlighted in the article here.
The Port Gamble National Historic buildings we see today range from 1859 to around 1906. Developed as a lumber mill by William Talbot and Andrew Pope, and Charles Foster starting in1853. History Link provides a summary of the company growth, details the growth and troubles ranging from a Haida attack in 1856 and a battle between natives and sailors from the USS Massachusetts took place, to the mill closure in 1995 after 142 years of operation through various economic cycles and wars as a global supplier of lumber.
Quiet, scenic, vintage New England style...Port Gamble is an out of the way (but also on the way), former company mill town, located just north of the Hood Canal Bridge. Slow down (20 mph speed limit), get out and walk, and take in the historic (its a National Historic Site) buildings, Port Gamble History Museum, Theatre and explore the many shops. The Port Gamble General Store and Cafe has gifts, supplies, lunch and ice cream. Wander across the street and check out mountain bike, kayak or paddle board rentals at Olympic Outdoor Sports, look into the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion for a wedding or other event, and watch out for paranormal activity (there is even an annual Ghost Conference). Quilters will like the Quilted Strait, and The Artful Ewe has a fine collection of yarn for sale. Coffee shops, a tap room, playground, and walking trails help make a nice visit while enjoying the Olympic Mountain and Hood Canal views. The Olympic Property is pursuing a sizable single, multi-family and commercial development opportunity on its 318 acres (of which 120 is the developed townsite). Guesthouse, Residential and commercial rental opportunities are currently available too. It would be an amazing place to work remotely from!
Since the area is known for its classic row of homes set among the trees, sweeping field with scenic views to the Hood Canal Bridge and the Olympic Mountains, make sure to slow down, enjoy a slow walk around, and check out the historic (ok its all pretty much historic in Port Gamble) Port Gamble General Store for gifts, lunch or ice cream. Quilters will love the fabrics at Quilted Strait, yarn at the The Artful Ewe, or others might like Tango Zulu Imports. Tour the Port Gamble History Museum, take in a play at the Port Gamble Theater, wander around the Olympic Outdoor Center and maybe rent a kayak or paddleboard. Getting married? Look into the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion and Walker-Ames House. There are guest houses for rent, trail systems and nature preserves nearby. Pop up to Hansville for another scenic drive, food, beach and more. Most of all bring your camera, enjoy a little step back in time and relax.