"Memory Vessel" was commissioned by the City to honor the Scandinavian heritage of families that influenced early development at the head of the bay. The artwork references the bond between the Scandinavian cultures and the sea. The vessel . . . — — Map (db m179836) HM
The newly built Memorial Presbyterian Church was dedicated on September 13, 1913, under the leadership of Reverend Thomas J. Weekes. Since 1893, Rev. Weekes had been teaching and preaching on the Peninsula. The site for the church was donated by . . . — — Map (db m180044) HM
This area at the mouth of Donkey Creek was once the village site of the S'Homamish Indians. Gig Harbor was then known as Tua'wILkel or Twa-wal-kut.
As part of the Puget Salish people of the Pacific Northwest, the S'Homamish spoke a form of . . . — — Map (db m179871) HM
The vacant log along the shore below hides the story of one of the community's most remarkable pioneer women. Theresa Sweeney was born in Ireland and received her college education in England. She came to America in 1893 and settled in Gig . . . — — Map (db m179828) HM
Boat building was one of the first industries on Gig Harbor's waterfront, beginning with the launch of the Vine in 1890 at the Gig Harbor Mill. More than 140 wooden boats were constructed along the waterfront between 1912 and 1931 at three . . . — — Map (db m179922) HM
The settlement of Gig Harbor by white people actually began on the east side of the harbor. Samuel Jerisich arrived in Gig Harbor in 1867 and built a small cabin on the east side of the bay near the sandpit. Later, the Jerisich family moved to . . . — — Map (db m179983) HM
Austin Mill: Employment to Many in Area
While his wife and children waited in Maltby (Wa), Charles Osgood Austin arrived in Gig Harbor in 1909. He was looking for a good place to build a saw mill.
Austin liked a small, low point of . . . — — Map (db m179865) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m179998) HM
In the 1930s, life in Gig Harbor centered on earning a living, tending to family, and building a community. One independent, creative individual went a step further. C.E. Shaw made it his mission to put fun into harbor life. A true showman, Shaw . . . — — Map (db m179869) HM
City welcomes favorite carver to create masterpiece at local park. An epic marine and wildlife totem for the community of Gig Harbor to enjoy.
What you can find in the sculpture:
Birds: Eagle, Hawk, Owls, Seagull, Heron, King Fisher, . . . — — Map (db m179912) HM
Puget Sound: Fast Facts
• The Puget Sound is the second largest estuary in the United States, after the Chesapeake Bay.
• A "sound" is an arm, inlet, or recessed portion of the sea.
• Advancing glaciers carved out the Puget Sound . . . — — Map (db m179931) HM
In 1867, Sam Jerisich, Peter Goldsmith, and John Farrague were fishing in Puget Sound when bad weather prompted them to seek shelter in Gig Harbor. They liked what they saw and decided to make it their home, becoming the first three white people . . . — — Map (db m179977) HM
Anchor Donated by
Marion N. Stancic
In Memory of a Fishing Family:
Nickolas Castelan, Sr. 1874-1921
John (Evo) Stancic 1891-1971
John B. Stancic 1905-1974
John S. Jerkovich, Sr. 1896-1974
George A. Plancich, Sr. 1898-1963 . . . — — Map (db m179982) HM
Crescent Creek runs three miles from Crescent Lake to the bay. Early on, families began to homestead in Crescent Valley, making their living through ranching, farming, and dairy operations. Joseph Goodman, a Civil War veteran, brought his family . . . — — Map (db m179911) HM
On nearby docks you can see some of Gig Harbor's fishing fleet.
The salmon-rich waters of Puget Sound made Gig Harbor an ideal home for fisherman. Founded largely by immigrants from Croatia in the late 1800s, this industry became the center . . . — — Map (db m179925) HM
This corner is rich in local history. When the first white men settled in Gig Harbor, they shared the bay with the Native American people who lived in a village on this corner. In the mid 1880s, the Indians permitted the use of one of their . . . — — Map (db m179889) HM
Harry Richard Thurston was born October 10, 1889, in Minnesota. He moved to Gig Harbor in 1919 from Tacoma. Thurston had been an electrical contractor in Minnesota. In Gig Harbor, he sold and serviced portable light plants, set up switchboards, . . . — — Map (db m179992) HM
In memory of the fishermen of Gig Harbor who have gone to sea
at great risk with passion and hard work, this statue is a tribute
to an industry upon whose labor our community was founded.
LOST AT SEA
John Ancich, Jr. • . . . — — Map (db m179979) HM
This Craftsman-Bungalow style house was only a cabin before 1910. One of Gig Harbor's early Croatian Fishing Families, John Maljich (Malich) arrived in 1890. By 1903, he mined in Trinidad, Colorado. Then in 1904, he wrote home with "I'm ready to . . . — — Map (db m179927) HM
Called the head of the harbor, North Gig Harbor, or Finholm's Marketplace, this area was the harbor's first downtown. Beginning in the 1880s and into the early 1920s it was home to the community's first mercantile, first library, first phone . . . — — Map (db m179830) HM
Settlers from Albert Lea, Minnesota, established Gig Harbor's first sawmill, the Gig Harbor Lumber Company, near this spot on the waterfront in 1887. The sawmill cut as much as 100,000 board feet of lumber daily. Its 450-foot wharf could . . . — — Map (db m179980) HM
In 1975, Peninsula High School was the first school in Washington State to initiate a salmon rearing program.
The students and faculty helped raise salmon for the Puget Sound and local streams, including Crescent Creek.
Project Key . . . — — Map (db m179915) HM
Peninsula Light Company's roots in Gig Harbor date back to 1924, when the community began to discuss how it could form its own electric utility. At the time, Tacoma Power was building a transmission line through the peninsulas to deliver power . . . — — Map (db m179874) HM
The People's Dock was established near here about 1890. At the time, it was one of three docks in the harbor servicing freight and passenger traffic on steamboats. In 1923, the People's Dock became the community's car ferry dock. It served . . . — — Map (db m180041) HM
Andrew and Bertha Skansie purchased this property just after the turn of the century, first building a cabin on the beach. In 1910 they constructed the brick home. Andrew was a young but accomplished stone mason, bringing the skill from Croatia . . . — — Map (db m179984) HM
This property has been placed on the
of Historic Places
by the United States
Department of the Interior
Andrew & Bertha
Skansie Netshed & House
This property . . . — — Map (db m179929) HM
SETTLING THE WATERSHED
Historically, Crescent Creek watershed was altered by human settlement through logging and farming. Today shoreline development continues to alter the watershed.
PHOTO: Dr. Hiram Herbert Rust on Crescent Creek . . . — — Map (db m179917) HM
The head of the bay business district included a post office, livery stable, general store, and real estate office. Around 1907, Swedish Captain Axel Uddenberg built his home and opened a meat market near this site. "Front Street", now . . . — — Map (db m179837) HM
"The Landing" draws from Gig Harbor's rich
maritime history. The name and form refer to the
landing of the captain's gig from the 1841 Wilkes
Expedition. It also recalls the time when rowboats were
a main form of transportation and pays . . . — — Map (db m180043) HM
[informational and not transcribed]
What's With All Those Barrels?
The barrels you see next to Donkey Creek are part of a Remote Site Incubator (RSI) system which was initiated by local commercial fishermen in . . . — — Map (db m179873) HM
This building is dedicated to the Sehmel Family,
pioneers of the Gig Harbor Peninsula
[photo of the Sehmel house]
W.L.C. Henry Sehmel homesteaded in the Rosedale area in 1884. In 1887, Henry married Dora Gummert. Dora made her way to . . . — — Map (db m179887) HM
Marty Hoey distinguished herself as a climbing guide for Rainier Mountaineering. Lou Whittaker invited her to join the 1982 Mount Everest Expedition to challenge the previously unclimbed Tibetan North Ridge. She . . . — — Map (db m179834) HM