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Port Townsend Where Time Stands Still
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Port Townsend Where Time Stands Still
  Port Townsend Travel Tale

by Lorry Patton

wash_port_townsend.jpg Some say Port Townsend is the best example of a Victorian seaport north of San Francisco; to be sure, its Victorian heritage is definitely intact and it is a lot more interesting to walk the streets of history than to read about it in a book.

Downtown's historical district is a graceful style of turrets, bricks and stone; uptown, the residential district is a conglomerate of stately Victorian homes. Both the uptown and downtown districts are lined with touristy gift shops, art galleries, boutiques and antique stores and the windy waterfront is home to seagulls, kites, and sailors -- albeit, slightly different from the sailors of folklore. These sailors manoeuvre fancy sailing yachts and fibreglass motorboats. Still, in memory of the past, a local school teaches how to build the almost obsolete wooden boat and an annual "Wooden Boat Festival" is held the second weekend in September to insure we never forget our beginnings.


wash_port_townsend_museum.jpg The Jefferson County Historical Museum housed in the 1892 County Courthouse is a good place to get background history before touring the town. It is filled with memorabilia from early military and marine days. Speaking of military, Fort Worden is an important stop to make on your visit. One of three forts built in 1896 to protect the Puget Sound from an enemy naval attack, it houses the Marine Science Center, the Coast Artillery Museum and the Fort Worden Theater. The park is also the location for special musical events that take place during the year. . The Rothschild House is a fully restored 1868 Victorian home with original period furnishings. It's opened daily 9-5, April to October and Sat-Sun. 10-5 the rest of the year.

Sidewalk tours of the historic homes depart daily at 10am and 2pm, May 20-October 20. (260-385-1967) Entertaining guides will tell you tales of Shanghaied sailors, underground tunnels and juicy titbits you may not find in the history books. The annual Historic Homes Tour ( at which time ten historic homes are open for public viewing) takes place September 17 and 18 this year.

The residents are a mix of potters, poets, sculptors, weavers, jewelry designers, boat builders and just ordinary folks who are compelled to live in one of Northwest's most historic and scenic spots.




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