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Gig Harbor in Pierce County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Birth of the Business District

 
 
Birth of the Business District Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 3, 2021
1. Birth of the Business District Marker
Inscription.  

In the late 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s, this was the corner of a 10-acre park extending from People's Dock to today's Pioneer Way. It had rustic tables, an outdoor dance floor, and a mineral water spring. It was a place for picnics under shady trees, baseball games, and other community activities. By the 1910s, the park was giving way to new construction, much of which remains to this day.

The Memorial Presbyterian Church was built in 1913 on land donated by a local family, the Gustafsons. In the 1920s, a bank and electric company established businesses on the block.

In 1925, two hotels were constructed on this corner, each dedicated to serving harbor visitors, providing rooms, meals, and other services. On one side of the street, the Peninsula Hotel featured a wide staircase leading to the spacious second floor lobby and eight rooms. On the first floor were four retail shops. The basement served as a pool hall. Across the street was the Novak Building with its hotel. After the Narrows Bridge opened, the buildings remained but the hotel operations gave way to other businesses.

[Photo captions,
Birth of the Business District Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 3, 2021
2. Birth of the Business District Marker
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• Novak Building and McIntyre Gas Station

• Picnic at town park above People's Dock, 1903

• Peninsula Hotel, mid 1930s
 
Erected by City of Gig Harbor and Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEntertainmentIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1913.
 
Location. 47° 19.758′ N, 122° 34.846′ W. Marker is in Gig Harbor, Washington, in Pierce County. Marker is at the intersection of Harborview Drive and Pioneer Way, on the left when traveling west on Harborview Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3110 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor WA 98335, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Judge H.R. (Dick) Thurston (within shouting distance of this marker); A Growing Community (within shouting distance of this marker); People's Dock (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Skansie Brothers Park (about 500 feet away); Skansie Netshed & House (about 500 feet away); The Landing (about 500 feet away); Explore Gig Harbor Wildwaters (about 500 feet away); Lost At Sea (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gig Harbor.
 
Also see . . .  Gig Harbor — Thumbnail History (Kershner, 2012)
Former Peninsula Hotel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 3, 2021
3. Former Peninsula Hotel
. (Submitted on August 21, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 21, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 81 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 21, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Jan. 27, 2023