Port Townsend, Washington
|— City —|
|City of Port Townsend|
|• City Manager||David Timmons|
|• Total||9.46 sq mi (24.50 km2)|
|• Land||6.98 sq mi (18.08 km2)|
|• Water||2.48 sq mi (6.42 km2)|
|Elevation||131 ft (40 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||9,129|
|• Density||1,305.6/sq mi (504.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1524589|
Port Townsend pron.: // is a city in Jefferson County, Washington, United States. The population was 9,113 at the 2010 census, an increase of 9.3% over the 2000 census. It is the county seat and only incorporated city of Jefferson County. In addition to its natural scenery at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, the city is also known for the many Victorian buildings remaining from its late 19th-century heyday, numerous annual cultural events, and as a maritime center for independent boatbuilders and related industries and crafts. The Port Townsend Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District.
The bay was originally named "Port Townshend" by Captain George Vancouver (for his friend the Marquis of Townshend) in 1792. It was immediately recognized as a good, safe harbor although strong south winds and poor holding ground often make small craft anchorage problematic off the town's waterfront. The bay is now home to Naval Magazine Indian Island, the US Navy's primary munitions handling dock on the Pacific coast.
The official settlement of the city of the same name took place on the 24th of April, 1851. American Indian tribes located in what is now Jefferson County in the mid-19th century included the Chimakum (or Chemakum), Hoh (a group of the Quileute), Klallam (or Clallam), Quinault and Twana (the Kilcid band — Anglicized: Quilcene).
Port Townsend is also called the "City of Dreams" because of the early speculation that the city would be the largest harbor on the west coast of the United States.
By the late 19th century, Port Townsend was a well-known seaport, very active and banking on the future. Many homes and buildings were built during that time, with most of the architecture ornate Victorian. During this period, in 1888, the Port Townsend Police Department was established.
Railroads were built to reach more areas in the 1870-1890s and Port Townsend was to be the northwest extension of the rail lines. Its port was large and frequented by overseas vessels, so shipping of goods and timber from the area was a major part of the economy. Many of the buildings were built on the speculation that Port Townsend would become a booming shipping port and major city. When the depression hit, those plans lost the capital to continue and rail lines ended on the east side of Puget Sound, mainly in Tumwater, Tacoma, and Seattle. With the other Puget Sound ports growing in size, Port Townsend saw a rapid decline in population when the Northern Pacific Railroad failed to connect the city to the eastern Puget Sound city of Tacoma. By the late 1890s, the boom was over. Without the railroad to spur economic growth, the town shrank and investors looked elsewhere to make a good return. (The Milwaukee Road built a short spur to the pulpmill and barged cars over from Anacortes.)
Over the decades that followed, Port Townsend maintained its economic stability in a variety of ways, including the development of artillery fortifications at Fort Worden. Many people left the area and many buildings were abandoned. Port Townsend's economy was very weak until the 1920s when a paper mill was built on the edge of the town.
The town experienced a renaissance beginning in the 1970s as new residents, including many retirees, moved to town.
Recognition of historic status 
Because of the speed at which the economy fell in the 1890s and the non-existence of any industry or economy to replace it, none of the Victorian buildings were torn down or built over in the intervening period. They were, in essence, preserved as time capsules for the next 100 years when the value of keeping them intact was appreciated and fostered.
The Port Townsend Historic District, an area including many Victorian era buildings, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and further was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
Port Townsend is noted for a vast collection of Victorian homes and significant historical buildings. The city has more than a dozen larger buildings that are well preserved, including the Carnegie Library, the Federal Building (now commonly known simply as the city's post office), the Rose Theatre and the Elks Lodge, which now houses Silverwater Cafe. There is also Fort Worden with its pre-World War I architecture including the publicly accessible Olympic Youth Hostel. Perhaps the most stunning historical structure in Port Townsend is the Jefferson County Courthouse, a spectacular representation of the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style with a 125 foot bell tower.
In 1976, the Downtown waterfront and parts of Uptown were designated a Registered Historic District. Later, Fort Worden (now part of Fort Worden State Park) and the City of Port Townsend were designated National Historic Landmarks. The city is further recognized as one of only three Victorian seaports on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bell Tower on the bluff above downtown is one of two known towers of this type in the United States. It was used from 1890 to the 1940s to call volunteer firefighters. It was restored in 2003 by the Jefferson County Historical Society. The second bell tower is located in Helena, Montana, and was also used to summon volunteers and alert townspeople of any fires during late 19th century early gold rush days.
The sign entering town calls Port Townsend a "Victorian Seaport and Arts Community." Port Townsend is host to several annual events such as the Wooden Boat Festival, Kinetic Skulpture Race [sic] (since 1983), and the annual blues and jazz festival.
Boating and maritime life are central cultural elements in this port town, with regattas, weekly races and a multitude of recreational opportunities. The marine trades industry is an anchor economic driver for the community, with highly skilled, world-renowned trades people. The port is home to many classic wooden boats, and gets visits from many others seeking repairs.
By and large an artist haven, downtown there are many galleries and two artist collectives. There is a strong monthly Arts Walk and a plethora of classes, workshop and trainings.
Port Townsend also holds a growing independent film festival in September.
The Rose Theatre is a cinema downtown which shows contemporary American and foreign films. There is also the Uptown Theater, showing more family-oriented films, and a nearby drive-in theater is open during the summer months.
Fort Worden State Park is home to a number of cultural organizations and venues. Centrum (arts organization) is a culture and art organization that hosts a multitude of concerts, festivals and workshops at Fort Worden. These include Fiddle Tunes, Blues, Jazz, Voice, Chamber Music, and much more. Copper Canyon Press, the poetry press, is located here, as are Goddard College, Madrona Mindbody Institute, Peninsula College, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and the Port Townsend School of Woodworking.
Port Townsend is located at  It is situated at the extreme northeastern end of the Olympic Peninsula, on the north end of a large, semi-protected bay. Port Townsend is adjacent to the Admiralty Inlet and a trio of State Parks built on retired artillery installations (Fort Worden, Fort Casey, and Fort Flagler). The city and its surroundings are well-treed with large Douglas-fir dominant over many other tree species in the remaining wooded areas.(48.116514, -122.775254).
In addition to road links to the south and west, Port Townsend is accessible via ferry from the Washington State Ferry system, which links Port Townsend with the Coupeville ferry terminal on Whidbey Island, on the east side of Puget Sound.
Port Townsend has a moderate mediterranean climate with chilly, though not severe, and damp winters and warm, dry summers. It lies in the Olympic rain shadow and receives an average of only 18.75 inches (476.3 mm) annual precipitation. However, the environment is not as dry as the mean yearly total would suggest because cool breezes and fogs from the Juan de Fuca Strait provide high humidity
|Climate data for Port Townsend, WA|
|Record high °F (°C)||62
|Average high °F (°C)||44.5
|Average low °F (°C)||36.0
|Record low °F (°C)||5
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.21
|Snowfall inches (cm)||1.7
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch)||15||12||13||11||10||9||5||5||7||11||15||16||129|
The largest private employer is the Port Townsend Paper Mill. The largest employer overall (private and public) is the local hospital Jefferson Healthcare. Major industries include maritime trades, manufacturing, tourism and timber.
Public education in the city is administered by Port Townsend School District, which includes Grant Street Elementary School, Blue Heron Middle School and Port Townsend High School.
Private schools in the city include Jefferson Community School.
Port Townsend operates with a council-manager form of government. Administrative offices are located in the recently renovated City Hall Building on Water Street in downtown Port Townsend.
2010 census 
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,113 people, 4,544 households, and 2,322 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,305.6 inhabitants per square mile (504.1 /km2). There were 5,193 housing units at an average density of 744.0 per square mile (287.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.4% White, 0.5% African American, 1.1% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.
There were 4,544 households out of which 19.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.9% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.9% were non-families. 39.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.60.
The median age in the city was 53 years. 16.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.4% were from 25 to 44; 36.7% were from 45 to 64; and 24.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.0% male and 54.0% female.
2000 census 
According to the 2000 census, there were 8,334 people, 3,917 households and 2,201 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,191.8 people per square mile (460.3/km²). There were 4,250 housing units at an average density of 607.8 per square mile (234.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.27% White, 0.58% African American, 1.25% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.30% of the population.
There were 3,917 households of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.67. 205 of these households were on the waiting list of the Housing Choice Voucher Program as of 2003.
Age distribution was 19.6% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 21.8% from 25 to 44, 32.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.
The median household income was $34,536, and the median family income was $47,027. Males had a median income of $38,013 versus $27,753 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,395. About 8.9% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.
- Peninsula Daily News—Port Townsend/Jefferson County Edition
- Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader 
- Liberty Magazine (founded by R. W. Bradford in 1987)
Notable residents 
- Anita L. Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, bioethecist, African studies and women's studies academic
- Chuck Allen, former football player for San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles
- Artis the Spoonman, musician
- Tom Baker, former Chicago Cubs baseball player
- Wayne Bastrup, television actor
- Sheila Bender, poet and essayist
- Brita Guthrie, Sea Gals cheerleader (Seattle Seahawks football)
- Frank Herbert, author of the Dune saga
- Alan James, film director of 79 films between 1916 and 1943
- Parker Lundgren, guitarist, joined progressive metal band Queensrÿche in 2009
- Art McLarney, former New York Giants baseball player
- Brett Pemberton, singer, musician, and international fashion model featured on season six of America's Got Talent
- Charles "Chuck" Robinson, former boxer, died in plane crash (Warsaw, Poland)
- Marvin G. Shields, killed in action (KIA) Medal of Honor, (Vietnam War)
- John Stroeder, former Milwaukee Bucks basketball player
- Robert L. Tsai, law professor and author
- Jim Whittaker, first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest
Sister city 
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- St. George, Peter. "Fort Worden History". SaintImages. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- Notes from Jefferson County Historical Society
- "Wooden Boat Festival - Port Townsend, WA". Woodenboat.org. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- Port Townsend Bay Kinectic Skulpture Race, retrieved 2012-12-29
- Port Townsend Art Galleries
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Whidbey Island Route Map". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- "PORT TOWNSEND, WASHINGTON (456678): Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary". Western Regional Climate Center. 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- McClary, Daryl C. "Jefferson County -- Thumbnail History". History Ink. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Bermant, Charlie (September 14. 2010). "Hospital's new CEO highest paid public official in Jefferson County". The Peninsula Daily News. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "Community Resources". PTguide. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "Local Sports, Shopping, Dining, Lodging, Medical, Jobs, Homes, Cars, Classifieds, Obituaries, Services for Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim, Forks, Jefferson County, Clallam County, Washington". Peninsula Daily News. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- "Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader - Port Townsend, Jefferson County & Olympic Peninsula's news website - Port Townsend, WA". Ptleader.com. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
- "PTHS grad Brita Guthrie is now a Seahawk Sea Gal - Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader - Port Townsend, Jefferson County & Olympic Peninsula's news website - Port Townsend, WA". Ptleader.com. 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Jennifer Buonantony. "ONE TO WATCH: BRETT PEMBERTON".
- "Faces In The Crowd - 01.15.73 - SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. 1973-01-15. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Ali attends service. Observer-Reporter, March 31, 1980.
- Jennifer Jackson. "Port Townsend graduate writes about First Amendment".
- "Sister Relationships".
- "Where In The World".
- MacCannell, Dean. The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. Berkley: OC Press. 1999. pp. 94–106.
- Lasansky, D. Medina. Blurred Boundaries Between Tourism and History from Architoursim. Munich: Presfel. 2005. pp. 50–55.
- Huxtable, Louise Ada. The Way It Never Was, from Unreal America. New York: The New Press. 1997. pp. 15–36.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Port Townsend, Washington|
- City of Port Townsend Official Website
- Port Townsend, Washington at the Open Directory Project
- Naval Magazine Indian Island
- University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – The Pacific Northwest Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
- Jefferson County Historical Society Research Center
- Fort Worden History