Port Gamble offers up picturesque architecture, history and the paranormal on the Hood Canal
written by Joni Kabana photography by Visit Kitsap Peninsula
While meandering up State Highway 3, just before crossing the Hood Canal, you’ll come to Port Gamble, one of Washington’s most historically intact towns. Streets are lined with well-maintained heritage homes and a central district that is listed as a National Historic Landmark. The town was developed after the 1953 opening of a sawmill, owned by William Talbot and An-drew Pope, and still honors the era of the sawmill even though the mill ceased operations in 1995.
Port Gamble, still a company-owned unincorporated town, offers many interesting activities, from shopping at the old General Store to pausing for the view from the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion to strolling the streets as though walking backward in time. The architecture resembles New England, built by founders from the East Coast. Many of the structures are available for lease or events such as weddings.
One of the most interesting aspects of Port Gamble is its ongoing devotion to paranormal activity. Tours, investigations and psychic readings take place here, and it is host to an annual paranormal conference. Movies such as 2010’s ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction and Gregg Olsen’s Empty Coffin book series set in this location perpetuate the notion that this town harbors more than sawmills and gabled clapboard houses with steep roofs.
If you venture into this spirited town, have no fear as there are many wonderful places to stay such as the Port Gamble Guest Houses, tranquil waterfront properties that will surely ease your ghost-induced anxieties. Don’t miss sipping a beer at the House 11 Taproom and Bottle Shop or enjoying a farm to table dinner at Butcher & Baker Provisions where small-batch local entrees will make you forget that otherworldly beings may be sitting at the empty table next to you.
For more information, if you dare, see www.portgamble.com.