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Exploring the Upper Puget Sound Peninsula

So with a week in Chimacum, Washington as our base we took day trips and ran errands in the area. Our first journey took us to Port Townsend where we did a reconnaissance of the town's services, marina, and ferry terminal. We ended that day with dinner and headed home. The week was spent exploring Port Hadlock, Port Ludlow and Indian Island.

Fort Flagler State Park is a public recreation area that occupies the site of Fort Flagler, a former United States Army fort at the northern end of Marrowstone Island in Washington. The state park occupies 1,451 acres at the entrance to Admiralty Inlet and the Marrowstone Point Lighthouse lying adjacent. Port Townsend is visible to the northwest, the cranes at the Navy base on Indian Island to the west, and Whidbey Island to the east across Admiralty Inlet. Flagler Road (SR 116) terminates at the park entrance. Fort Flagler was a Coast Artillery fort that along with Fort Worden and Fort Casey once guarding Admiralty Inlet, the nautical entrance to Puget Sound as part of a "Triangle of Fire" defensive plan.

Later we traveled to Discovery Bay and eventually Sequim, Washington to take care of some cell phone and internet service issues with Verizon and AT&T. We ended the week with a trip south to Silverdale to shop at the Costco. On our way back we took a side trip to Port Gamble before crossing the Hood Canal bridge back to Chimacum.

Port Gamble is on the Kitsap Peninsula situated on the shores of scenic Hood Canal. The 120-acre National Historic Landmark complete with picturesque, turn-of-the-century buildings filled with shops, an historic church, breathtaking views, expansive grounds and New England style houses on maple and elm tree-lined streets.

The sawmill that William Talbot and Andrew Pope founded on Gamble Bay in 1853 remained in operation until Dec. 1995. It was the longest continually operating mill in the United States at that time. Now, the mill is gone, but the little town that grew up around it gives visitors a chance to see how early lumbering communities looked and functioned. Fewer than 1,000 settlers lived on the Sound in 1853, and most of them were busy felling enormous trees, or working in mills that sawed the logs into lumber for the San Francisco market. Their mills were built close to the water for easy transport, and their towns were built on the bluffs above. Their communities closely resembled the New England town of Machias, Maine where the founders had been born. Steepled churches and gabled clapboard houses with steep roofs and picket fences were common, but these simple buildings were soon replaced with more updated and stylish structures when the rail tied the region to the East in the 1880’s. Change moved slowly in Port Gamble because it was a company town. Some early buildings remained in use, and Pope & Talbot continued to construct many structures in a modified New England style.


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