Harbor History Museum

Harbor History Museum

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WE ♥️ DOWNTOWN GIG HARBOR

It's time to show Down Town Gig some extra love! The construction on Harborview Drive is impacting some of our favorite local businesses; but as a community we can ban together to support them during these challenging times.

Yes, the construction is a PAIN! But it's temporary. Please consider visiting some of the awesome businesses located in the heart of the road closure.

♥️Gourmet Burger Shop The Gourmet Burger Shop

♥️Thai Hut Thai Hut

♥️Beach Basket

♥️Animarum Animarum

♥️Harbor History Museum Harbor History Museum

♥️Gig Harbor Boat Shop Gig Harbor BoatShop at Eddon Boatyard

♥️Speedy Auto glass

The crew is working hard to wrap up the construction, and we appreciate your patience during these inconvenient times.

#ilovedowntowngh #smallbusiness #shoplocal #gigharborlocal #gigharborwaterfront Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance City of Gig Harbor
First Field Trip in Two Years for TW!
Harbor History Museum and Pioneer School is always a favorite field trip!
Ms. Bennett, the teacher was fabulous!

We highly recommend visiting the museum!
We've rounded up 11 family friendly events happening around Pierce County this March!

Whether you want to help care for turtles at the Tacoma Nature Center, learn about boats at the Harbor History Museum, or immerse yourself in Van Gogh's paintings, there are lots of opportunities for you and your family to shake up your routine this month.

*Be sure to read the description for the Van Gogh event for information on a giveaway coming up next week.

#greentrike #piercecounty #familyfun #familyfriendly
Happy #MaritimeMonday! Today we are shining a light on one of Kitsap's maritime-themed museum experiences - the Harbor History Museum on the Gig Harbor waterfront. Dedicated to celebrating the Harbor's maritime heritage, the HHM is a wonderful way to get hands on with the past and better appreciate PNW maritime culture. #visitkitsap

The Kitsap Peninsula is proud to be a part of the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area ~ 3,000 miles of saltwater shoreline. Learn more about #MaritimeWashington at tinyurl.com/maritime-get-involved

📸 Harbor History Museum & @preservation_2207
DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT SHOPPING TIP: There are so many options for you to shop downtown for the women in your life! AR Workshop Gig Harbor A Better Me Beach Basket Gifts and Christmas Shops, Bella Kitchen & HomeBig Nate's Trading Cards Bird Nest Gallery & Framing Boujie Cougarwear.com Cutty Sark Intimates Dolly Mama Boutique dolly mama too For The Love Of Spice Fox Island Trading Co. F R I L L S by TLB Events Gretchen Giese Artworks Harbor History Museum Hart Studio Heritage Distilling Company, Inc Hey, Darlin’, The Shop Lost Star Tabletop Gaming Outfitter McBeckland's Boutique Morso No Dearth of Books Perfect Balance Photo Rainy Day Yarns Sassy Bones Creative Emporium Sharon's Resale Boutique The Weathered Cottage Tickled Pink of Gig Harbor Tides Tavern Treasures 4 Humanity Woodstock Gallery & Gifts
DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT SHOPPING TIP: Looking for the perfect beverage or tasty treat for your holiday entertaining or gift giving? Check out 7 Seas Brewing Co. AR Workshop Gig Harbor Boujie Cougarwear.com Dolly Mama Boutique Finholm's Market & Deli For The Love Of Spice Fox Island Trading Co. Gig Harbor Brewing Co. The Harbor General Store & Cafe Heritage Distilling Company, Inc Lost Star Tabletop Gaming Outfitter Morso Harbor History Museum Rainy Day Yarns Sharon's Resale Boutique Tickled Pink of Gig Harbor
Beautiful evening tonight in Gig Harbor! View of Mt. Rainier from the Donkey Creek Bridge with a family strolling from the Austin Estuary Park to the Donkey Creek Park behind me.

Up until 2013, this salmon-spawning creek used to run through a culvert and there was no path. However, around 2013, Bremerton’s Parametrix improved the salmon habitat by daylighting and restoring Donkey Creek, and restoring the estuarine habitat. This work resulted in the bridge being built, the culvert being removed, and the two parks being connected!

The white building in the foreground is Gig Harbor’s Harbor History Museum’s restored Midway Schoolhouse and the red structure behind it houses the purse seiner Shenandoah, currently under restoration. The museum is to the right , just out-of-picture at 4121 Harborview Drive.
At the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, a display about one of the rare female captains of a Puget Sound "Mosquito Fleet" steamer back in the day was intriguing. If anyone knows more about Elsie Claussen, feel free to post it in the comments below! And definitely check out the Harbor History Museum next time you're in Gig Harbor.
Visit the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor for a look at the restoration of the The 65-foot purse seiner, Shenandoah (almost as old as Virginia V!) which they are doing in a giant shed in the back of the museum so the process can be observed by museum visitors.
The Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor has a number of interpretive displays of interest to maritime history buffs. this one, about the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, talks about Elsie Clausen, one of the few female steamship captains.
Stephanie Lile, left, the director of the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA, explains the restoration process for the engine of the historic fishing vessel Shenandoah. Mark Miller, from the Steamer Virginia V Foundation, right, and Debra Alderman, (not pictured), visited the museum on 8-11-21 and hope to collaborate with Stephanie and her team on future projects.
We hope everyone is as excited as we are about this year's #RevitalizeWA conference! Don't forget to register to join us both online and in-person for the full Roadshow experience. As a reminder, we'll have a full day of virtual learning and the Excellence on Main Celebration on Monday, September 27; Tuesday, September 28 through Friday, October 1, we’ll take the show on the road for three locally hosted days specifically curated for in-person learning in Gig Harbor, Prosser, and Colville.

Today, we would like to invite you all to learn more about what we have in store for our day in Gig Harbor, "Washington's Maritime City," on September 28. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to go on tours exploring Gig Harbor's iconic netsheds and fantastic Harbor History Museum. On your way, don't miss your chance to visit nearby Washington Main Street Communities like Puyallup, Olympia, and Kent. If you'd like to explore landmarks and other points of interest of the South Sound, take a historic driving tour from Skokomish to Tacoma.

Find conference details, lodging recommendations, and information on sightseeing and day trips around Gig Harbor here: https://preservewa.org/news-events/revitalizewa/revitalizewa-roadshow-gig-harbor/

General schedule & registration information for RevitalizeWA can be found here: https://preservewa.org/news-events/revitalizewa/

The Harbor History Museum tells the history of the Gig Harbor Peninsula with exhibits and hands-on interactives. Admission is FREE! The Harbor History Museum was founded as the Peninsula Historical Society in 1963 by a group of women dedicated to preserving Gig Harbor's history.

In 1974 the first museum opened, showcasing the photographs and artifacts collected by the society during the previous years. In 2010, the new Harbor History Museum opened to the public in its state-of-the-art facility located on Gig Harbor's beautiful waterfront.

Operating as usual

05/18/2022

Any ideas why if you took this plane ride on May 17th you were lucky? Had you waited one day later... (see comments for why the 17th was lucky and the 18th not-so-much)
(This flyer for a Lions Club Youth Activity fundraiser was donated to the museum by Mrs. James Arnold)

Photos from Lighthouse Christian School, Gig Harbor, Washington's post 05/15/2022

Photos from Lighthouse Christian School, Gig Harbor, Washington's post

05/07/2022

Puretic Power Block

A Puretic Power Block is something most people have never heard of, but this piece of equipment revolutionized the fishing industry. See an original Puretic Power Block in our main gallery before it goes back on the Shenandoah! Watch the Collections Corner video below to learn all about it, then stop by the museum and check the real thing.

04/29/2022

Fish Net Floats (or Corks)

Did you know that fishing net floats were used to keep fishing nets floating vertically in the water? Those floats have been made from cork, plastic, glass, wood, and animal skins. Check out our Collections Corner video below to learn more! Funding for this program was provided in part by the Gig Harbor Arts Commission.

Photos from Harbor History Museum's post 04/26/2022

Don’t Miss the Young Artists Showcase –
Ends April 28th

Featured in our lobby gallery are a series of self-portraits created by local students at Gig Harbor Academy. Ranging in age from 2-6 years, the students used a variety of media and took inspiration for their self portraits from famous artists such as Frida Kalo and Vincent Van Gogh. You’ll be surprised and delighted by the work of these young artists.

04/22/2022

Looking for something fun and educational to do with kids on this Earth Day and all week long? Look no further! Stop by our front desk at the museum and pick up a History Hunt sheet. By searching for the items on this sheet, you will discover clues in and around the Harbor History Museum that explore how people have lived on and used the resources of our precious earth!

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post 04/14/2022

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post 04/04/2022

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post

Photos from Harbor School Vashon's post 03/30/2022

Photos from Harbor School Vashon's post

Photos from Visit Kitsap Peninsula's post 03/30/2022

Photos from Visit Kitsap Peninsula's post

Photos from Harbor History Museum's post 03/24/2022

Tonight at the Museum!

Blue Water Task Force and Our Local Waters
Thursday, March 24, 2022
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM via Zoom

Stena Troyer, Chapter Chair of the South Sound Surfrider Foundation and Science Specialist for Harbor Wildwatch Harbor WildWatch, will discuss the Blue Water Task Force program. This program monitors harmful bacteria at local recreation sites INCLUDING Austin Park. Surfrider chapters then use this water testing data to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions.

This virtual presentation will be hosted by our Executive Director, Stephanie Lile. We hope you’ll join us as we learn more about the waters that surround us and how important it is to keep them clean.

To participate and receive a link to this presentation, please email Robin Harrison at [email protected].

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post 03/23/2022

So much progress!

02/24/2022

Tonight at the Museum!

Thursday, February 24, 2022
6:30 PM 7:30 PM

Take a journey with Anna Jerisich from British Columbia to Gig Harbor in 1869. What was her world like, what did she leave behind? What did she discover when she arrived? As a First Nations Penelakut woman, Anna brought valuable skills and insights to her new home. But her life was not without heartache and mystery. Join director/curator Stephanie Lile as she shares recent research on this important woman in regional history.

This virtual presentation will be hosted by our Executive Director, Stephanie Lile. We hope you’ll join us as we learn about a remarkable woman in Gig Harbor’s history.

To participate and receive a link to this presentation, please email Robin Harrison at [email protected].

02/19/2022

Join us this Thursday evening, 2/24, at 6:30pm via Zoom for Humanities in the Harbor. Take a journey with Anna Jerisich from British Columbia to Gig Harbor in 1869. What was her world like, what did she leave behind? What did she discover when she arrived? As a First Nations Penelakut woman, Anna brought valuable skills and insights to her new home. But her life was not without heartache and mystery. Join director/curator Stephanie Lile as she shares recent research on this important woman in regional history.
Please email [email protected] for a link to the presentation.

Photos from Harbor History Museum's post 02/16/2022

These are covers of Judge Magazine from 1909. Each issue costs .10 cents. The founders of Judge magazine included cartoonist James Albert Wales, dime store novels publisher Frank Tousey, and author George H. Jessop.

William J. Arkell purchased the magazine in the middle 1880s. By the early 1890s, the circulation of the magazine reached 50,000 and by 1912 the circulation was 100,000 .

Harold Ross was an editor of Judge for a few months in 1924. He used the experience to start his own magazine in 1925. You may have heard of it....The New Yorker!

(These copies were donated to the Harbor History Museum in 2009 by Hermann Joy.)

This Gig Harbor fishing vessel is almost 100. Here’s the latest on its next life 02/13/2022

This Gig Harbor fishing vessel is almost 100. Here’s the latest on its next life

This Gig Harbor fishing vessel is almost 100. Here’s the latest on its next life “We’ve had a lot of special people wander in.”

Photos from Harbor History Museum's post 02/10/2022

Check out this article from December 1874 Harper's Bazar on how to make rugs and mats from coffee bags.

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post 01/27/2022

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post

Photos from Harbor History Museum's post 01/25/2022

We were thrilled to have Jake Whittenberg feature the museum this week on his segment "Monday Morning Mugs." The series puts a weekly spotlight on a new local nonprofit organization every Monday.

Nonprofits have had a difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the state association Washington Nonprofits, there was about a 6% job decline across the state’s nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits make up nearly 10% of all jobs in Washington. (For reference, construction jobs make up about 6.13% of all jobs.)

A huge THANK YOU to Jake and King 5!

01/15/2022

Peninsula Cultural Arts District

Do you support the preservation and cultivation of local history and cultural arts? The Harbor History Museum and its non-profit partners are testing community support for the creation of a Cultural Arts taxing district. This district, allowed by Washington State law, would add a very small tax to properties in the Peninsula School District to support local museums and cultural tourism serving non-profit educational organizations. Please complete this short survey to let us know your thoughts. It will only take 2 minutes!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZZWZ9MS

Please note: In order to be enacted, this initiative must pass by a vote of the people. This is merely a survey to determine local levels of support.

Thank you for your input!

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post 01/07/2022

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post

12/29/2021

Due to inclement weather and the holidays, the museum is closed until Thursday, January 6, 2022. Happy New Year!

12/23/2021
12/19/2021

Congratulations to our winner!!! Tyler Martindale - YOU are our lucky winner of the Wee Shenandoah! Thank you so much to everyone who purchased a ticket and supported the Harbor History Museum!

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post 12/11/2021

Photos from HHM Shenandoah Project's post

12/10/2021

NEW EXHIBIT! Opening today:
Little Boats: Home Grown Innovation

From 14 inches to 14 feet, “Little Boats” is sure to delight both young and old.

The exhibit features a fascinating range of full-size, model, and toy boats, including Avanti, featured in the current issue of Small Boat Magazine. A classic Torpedo from Aristo-Craft is another incredible craft in the show. These speedsters are coupled with two older small boats used to take goods to market and a half-sized seine skiff just right for kids to step aboard.

Many of the toy boats are from the collection of HHM Shipwight Riley Hall, with a few unique treasures from the HHM Collection such as Paul Gustofson’s set of local ferries and a beautiful West Coast native canoe model.

Don't miss this exciting, informative exhibit.

12/07/2021

DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT SHOPPING TIP: Lots of places downtown to shop for the special man in your life! 7 Seas Brewing Co. AR Workshop Gig Harbor Beach Basket Gift Shops Big Nate's Trading Cards Bird Nest Gallery Cougarwear.com Cutty Sark Intimates Dolly Mama Boutique The Ebb Tide Art Gallery Fox Island Trading Co. Gig Harbor BoatShop at Eddon Boatyard Gig Harbor Brewing Co. Gig Harbor Fly Shop Gretchen Giese Artworks Harbor History Museum Heritage Distilling Company, Inc Lost Star Tabletop Gaming Outfitter Morso No Dearth of Books Perfect Balance Photo Rainy Day Yarns Sassy Bones Creative Emporium Ship To Shore Marine & Kayak Tides Tavern Woodstock Gallery & Gift

12/03/2021

Er du Norsk?

Join us for a festive, family-friendly night honoring the culture, history, and traditions of Norway, presented by The Gig Harbor Sister Cities committee. Learn about Gig Harbor's Sister City proposal with Bodø, Norway, while enjoying food, crafts, entertainment & Aquavit craft cocktails from Heritage Distilling Co. Meet and mingle with other Norwegian families and community members.

The event will take place at the Harbor History Museum on December 10th from 6-8pm. The event is free except for alcohol purchases.

12/03/2021

There are still a few tags left for older children who need you this holiday season -- please stop by and help.

Each year the Harbor History Museum partners with the Gig Harbor Lion's Club to create our Giving Tree. Please stop by the museum and chose a tag off the tree. On each tag is a Christmas wish for a child who may not otherwise have a present this holiday season. Once you purchase the gift, simply bring it back to the museum and put under the tree -- unwrapped with the tag attached, by December 13th. Help make a difference for children during the holidays!

11/30/2021

DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT SHOPPING TIP: Looking for the perfect beverage or tasty treat for your holiday entertaining or gift giving? Check out 7 Seas Brewing Co. AR Workshop Gig Harbor Boujie Cougarwear.com Dolly Mama Boutique Finholm's Market & Deli For The Love Of Spice Fox Island Trading Co. Gig Harbor Brewing Co. The Harbor General Store & Cafe Heritage Distilling Company, Inc Lost Star Tabletop Gaming Outfitter Morso Harbor History Museum Rainy Day Yarns Sharon's Resale Boutique Tickled Pink of Gig Harbor

11/30/2021

Giving Tuesday is the day to give to non-profits and organizations that sustain your community. This year the Harbor History Museum is participating in Giving Tuesday. As Gig Harbor's memory bank, we depend on our community's support to keep our doors open and community service programs functioning. That means educational programs for young and old, research services, school programs, and dedicated care of our regions' history and treasures. Please click the below link to give what you can on this Giving Tuesday.

https://harborhistorymuseum.org/donate

11/27/2021

As a small business and a non-profit, it's tough to compete with Black Friday deals. However each dollar you spend in our Museum Mercantile, is a dollar that directly supports the Harbor History Museum and our mission to preserve and share the regional history of this area. Our Mercantile has unique, Gig Harbor-centric gifts and treasures that can't be found anywhere else. Come by and discover for yourself -- AND support your community museum -- not only a small, local business but a non-profit, too!

We are open today from 11am - 4pm. Hope to see you!

Our Story

The museum provides visitors with a journey through the history of the Gig Harbor Peninsula. The museum contains: permanent exhibit galleries, a Special Exhibitions Gallery with 4-5 changing exhibits each year, a restored 1893 one-room schoolhouse, a 65-foot purse seiner fishing vessel, and the first Thunderbird sailboat ever built. The museum has a resource room and gift shop. A dedicated collections storage area provides safe and secure permanent storage for the museum's permanent collection.

Videos (show all)

The Emerson
Hi lu Hee Hee Means What???
Fishing Boots
Learn about one of the most interesting masks in our the museum collection

Location

Category

Products

The museum gift shop has a wonderful collection of items for adults and children, including clothing, jewelry from local designers, old-fashioned children's games and toys, "Gig Harbor" wine glasses, candy, books, videos, and more. Visitors can purchase reprints of historic photographs for personal and business use.

Telephone

Address


4121 Harborview Dr
Gig Harbor, WA
98332

General information

The museum is located on the waterfront at Gig Harbor's "head of the bay" at the corner of Harborview and North Harborview Drives - between Austen Estuary Park and Donkey Creek Park.

Opening Hours

Thursday 11am - 4pm
Friday 11am - 4pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm

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