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Olalla is a small unincorporated community in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. It is located on Colvos Passage on Puget Sound just north of the Pierce County county line. Olalla used to be larger than Port Orchard, county seat of Kitsap County. A former logging area, Olalla now partially relies on tourism, hosting an annual Polar Bear Jump on January 1 and Bluegrass Festival the third Saturday in August. Olalla is now a residential community for commuters to nearby cities and towns, although a working-class population from the logging days still remains.
The Olalla Community Club has been operated by Marty Kellogg and his family since the early eighties. An old original church stands just down the street from the Club and is being used to this day. The former pioneers church Pastor lived right across the street from the Church.
Olalla has some small claim to fame as the location of an early 20th-century health retreat (Sanitarium) called Wilderness Heights a.k.a. "Starvation Heights", The sanitarium was owned and operated by Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. Dr. Hazzard's practice of starvation to cure one's ills resulted in the death of a visiting English heiress in 1911, and the conviction of Dr. Hazzard for her murder. The original bathtub where Hazzard performed autopsies is still in the house, which has a family residing there. However, she also maintains a strong following, in the US, Europe and Australia, that testify to her fasting techniques as having cured them of many ills and believe she was ahead of her time, both then and now, in her methods.
Olalla author Gregg Olsen wrote about Starvation Heights in his award-winning book of the same name.
Olalla was served by many steamship including the Virginia V which is the last operational example of a Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet steamer. She was once part of a large fleet of small passenger and freight carrying ships that linked the islands and ports of Puget Sound in Washington State in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.On 21 October 1934, a severe Pacific storm swept through the Puget Sound. Virginia V was attempting to dock at Olalla, when the brunt of the storm hit. The powerful winds pushed the ship against the dock as the waves pounded the ship into the pilings. The result was the near destruction of the upper decks.
- M.S. Kline, Steamboat Virginia V (Documentary Book Publishers Corp., 1985)
- Roland Carey, The Sound of Steamers (Alderbrook Publishing Co., 1965)
- Roland Carey, The Sound And The Mountain (Alderbrook Publishing Co., 1970)
- Gordon R. Newell, Ships of the Inland Sea (Binford & Mort, Publishers, 1960)
- Jim Faber, Steamer’s Wake (Enetai Press, 1985)
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