One of the things I love about my new home is all the history surrounding it. Anglo-history was a little scarce where I came from, with most of the structures dating to no earlier than WWII. That’s why it was such a treat recently to visit Port Townsend.
Located at the northwest corner of Puget Sound, Port Townsend was original named in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver for his friend the Marquis of Townshend. Its sheltered, deep harbor welcomed the sailing ships of the day and inspired the first settlers in 1851 to dream of its being the largest harbor on the West Coast. In fact, the early settlers called it the City of Dreams for the prosperity they hoped would follow.
The town saw rapid growth throughout the 1800s in anticipation of being the terminus for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Dozens of homes were built along the hillside overlooking Puget Sound, along with many civic buildings. Fort Worden was built along one end to protect the entrance of Puget Sound from hostile forces.
But Port Townsend’s dreams were dashed when Tacoma, more than 80 miles and on the other side of the Sound, was chosen as the end of the rail line. People began leaving down in droves. Only the opening of a paper mill kept Port Townsend alive. Now, the town thrives on boat building and a growing tourist trade.
My cousin once removed (known as Aunt Mary to my brother and me) lives in the area and took us on what she called her nickel tour. Everywhere I looked were fine examples of Victorian architecture. Like this.
And this, the district courthouse.
And it doesn’t hurt that the deer come right down into the city and roam, even in broad daylight!
It wasn’t hard for the City of Dreams to set me dreaming about owning one of these homes. In fact, I picked the perfect house for me. This beauty stands on a bluff alongside Puget Sound, with a commanding view of Port Townsend Bay and Marrowstone Island. Can’t you just see me sitting in my office, gazing out at the blue, blue waters, the passing ships?
Hm. Maybe I ought to stay in my little cottage. At least then my dreams are more likely to get down on paper as books!
What about you? Any of these houses set you to dreaming?