Merge & Al's Excellent Adventures

4 min read

Historic Port Townsend

Day 5 – We left our cute little apartment in Sequim this morning and loaded up the car once again, this time heading to Port Townsend. Our first stop was historic Fort Worden State Park. Fort Worden was an active army base from 1902 to 1953. In 1957 it became a juvenile detention facility! In 1973, Washington state turned it into a state park. There are awesome beaches and a beautiful forested area, all available to camp on/in, if that’s your thing. The houses that used to be the officers residences are now converted into a museum and an entire row of vacation rentals. The other buildings have been converted to a variety of commercial uses — a school of woodworking, a satellite campus of a local college, a publishing house, venues for event rentals, and restaurants. The old base is also the current home of the Port Townsend Marine Science Centre. $10 for parking.

In Fort Warden State Park

We had a quick lunch at one of the small cafés in the park, and then we drove the very short distance to old Port Townsend. Our objective was to do a quick driving tour of the many old Victorian houses Port Townsend is famous for. Apparently, back in the mid-1800s, people expected the town to be the busiest port in the state, so it was built up. Unfortunately, the railroad was built to Seattle and the boom here never happened. But many of the houses have been restored, so there are about 300 that you can view. Most are now owned by private citizens. The Visitor Centre gave us a map of about 55 of them, but we only saw a few. Merge would’ve seen more, but Al said no way! 😀

Jefferson County Courthouse (1892)
Frank Bartlett home (1883). Noted for its French Mansard roof
Peter Mutty house (1881). Still has its original iron grillwork
Elias DeVoe house (1888). This 3-bedroom 4-bath house is currently up for sale for USD 1.395 million. In case you’re interested …
George Downs house (1886), noted for its beautiful stained glass windows
Captain Thomas Grant house (1887), an example of the Italianate Villa style
Henry Wylie house (1889). Example of a Queen Anne ”cottage” … bigger than most cottages we know!
Old Catholic Church (1890) that is now a private residence, but was a church until 1958. So cool!

It was late afternoon by the time we made our way to our home for the night — the Aladdin Motel. Those of you who know us well are probably wondering how we ended up in a motel! The outside of the building doesn’t say very much, but the high point of this place is actually where it’s located. It’s right on the water with incredible views of Puget Sound. True, the rooms were merely adequate, but the staff were friendly, and the view from our room was simply spectacular. P.S. the wifi however sucked the big one! It took hours to upload today’s photos.

Yes, doesn’t look like very much from the street side …
But this was the view from our room!

Port Townsend is a pretty quiet city, so we wrapped up our evening with a fairly early dinner. PhoFilling is just across the street from where we were staying, and we had a delicious meal that was fresh and satisfying.

Tomorrow we have a eventful day planned. We’re going to head south from Port Townsend to Port Gamble, Poulsbo, and then take the bridge over to Bainbridge Island. We’ll spend most of our day there, and then we’ll catch the Bainbridge Island-Seattle ferry on our way to Normandy Park, which is just south of Seattle.

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