Romancing the Past

Steeped in rich history, Port Townsend is one of only three Victorian Seaports in the country. It’s a place to step back in time, should you wish, and envision how life might have been in the 1890s when city leaders were expecting it to be the largest city in the Puget Sound area.

Picture the tall ships anchored in Port Townsend Bay, clearing customs in the gorgeous grey building standing at the top of the bluff (now the current post office). Can you see the lovely ladies gracing the streets uptown in their Victorian gowns or taking tea in one of the majestic mansions? Many of these gracious homes are now bed and breakfast inns, catering to those who wish to stay in a piece of Port Townsend’s romantic history.

Victorian Heritage Days is a festival held in March every year to reflect a focus on building connections across the centuries and showcasing links between then and now. It’s a perfect time to learn more about that era in Port Townsend’s history. www.victorianfestival.org

Explore the Jefferson County Museum in historic City Hall downtown on the corner of Water and Madison Streets. Wander through the old Court Room where Judge Swan slammed down his gavel or walk into the jail downstairs where its touted Jack London may have spent the night. Watch the movie, “We Came With Dreams” to see the inspiration of the people who make this community what is was and what it is today. www.jchsmuseum.org

Port Townsend’s wooden boat and maritime heritage are still celebrated at the Northwest Maritime Center (www.nwmaritime.org), at the end of Water Street only a block from the museum, and every year during the Wooden Boat Festival the second weekend in September. www.woodenboat.org

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