Seabeck, Washington

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Seabeck is located in Washington (state)
Location within the state of Washington
Coordinates: 47°38′22″N 122°49′43″W / 47.63944°N 122.82861°W / 47.63944; -122.82861Coordinates: 47°38′22″N 122°49′43″W / 47.63944°N 122.82861°W / 47.63944; -122.82861
CountryUnited States
500 ft (200 m)
 • Total1,105
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
GNIS feature ID1525535[1]

Seabeck is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kitsap County, Washington, United States. The population was 1,105 at the 2010 census. Seabeck is a former mill town on Hood Canal.


The name Seabeck comes from the Twana /ɬqábaqʷ/, from /ɬ-/, "far", /qab/, "smooth, calm", and /-aqʷ/, "water".[2]

In his narrative of his voyage down the Hood Canal in 1792, Captain George Vancouver made no mention of the Seabeck area.[3] The first known use of the place name "Seabeck" dates from the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838 to 1842. On 16 May 1841, Captain of the expedition, Charles Wilkes, ordered Lieutenant Augustus Case to take four boats and survey the Hood Canal. Wilkes wrote of the Canal:

Hoods Canal branches off from Admiralty Inlet at Suquamish Head, where it is two miles wide. Its direction is south-southeast, five miles; it then turns to the south-southwest, six miles; thence to Squaller's Point, southeast, six miles, turning again to the west-southwest, three miles to Nukolowap Point, south point to Toandons Peninsula, which divides the north branch from the canal. Continuing on this course across the mouth of the north branch, for four miles, is Quatsap Point, passing the harbor and point of Scabock [sic.] Harbor on the east then southwest, three miles to Triton Head ...[4]


Seabeck was founded in 1857 by Marshall Blinn and William Adams, doing business as The Washington Mill Company. Their lumber was in such demand they built a second mill, then a shipyard to build boats to haul the lumber to California, which had high demand due to the California Gold Rush. Eventually, along with four saloons, the town had two general stores and two hotels. In 1876, there were over 400 people living in Seabeck. After decades of success, in the 1880s, the demand had eased, and most of the easily accessible trees had been harvested. In 1886 a spark from the ship Retriever started a fire that consumed both mills, along with other buildings. Rumors flew that the mills would not be re-built, so most residents moved to other towns with mills, notably Port Hadlock, turning Seabeck into a virtual ghost town.

Seabeck is a mostly rural area, consisting primarily of a conference center across the road from the general store, coffee shop, antique store, a pizza parlor and Olympic View Marina. There are houses and a now-closed elementary school that serviced the areas around Seabeck. The population was 1,015 at the 2010 census.

Seabeck is also the hometown of figure skater Ashley Wagner.[5]


Under the direction of William J. Adams, the Washington Mill Company undertook the role of a shipyard, constructing vessels for a brief period of time in the late 1800s.[6] In total, the Washington Mill Company is responsible for creating at least seven vessels of varying type within the city of Seabeck.[7]

Constructed Ships [7][edit]

  • Georgia - 1872, steamer
  • Cassandra Adams - 1876, sail
  • Richard Holyoke - 1877, tug
  • Olympus - 1879, sail
  • Mary Winkleman - 1881, sail
  • Retriever - 1881, sail
  • Louise - 1884, steamer
The gate and bridge over the lagoon that is the entrance to the Seabeck Conference Center. 19 August 2017

Notable Places[edit]

Seabeck Conference Center[edit]

In the early 1900s, Laurence Colman and Arn Allen of Seattle formed a partnership to build a facility for YMCA and YWCA groups to hold summer conferences. In 1914, Lawrence Coleman and his brother George purchased much of the original Seabeck site. In 1936, Laurence Colman's son, Ken Colman, incorporated the conference grounds as a private, nonprofit corporation. He deeded to the corporation the 90 acres (360,000 m2) that now make up Seabeck Conference Center. The Conference Center is available for events during the year. For over thirty years, The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. has held its annual Deaf-Blind Retreat there, hosting Deaf-Blind visitors from across the nation and world at the Conference Center.

Seabeck Elementary[edit]

The town's primary school, Seabeck Elementary, offered kindergarten through sixth grade. It had a long and locally significant history and thus was supported by the community. However, recent events beginning in the 1990s have questioned the value of the school; the reasons included various health and safety issues[citation needed]. Also, the local school district has claimed to need budget cuts. Because of this, the school closed at the end of the 2006-07 school year. The future of the site has not been decided. [8]

Seabeck Cemetery[edit]

The Seabeck Cemetery lies in the woods of Seabeck nearby Seabeck Elementary. It is a popular attraction among locals due to its antiquity that is only locally challenged by the Buena Vista Cemetery located in Port Gamble, WA.[9]

Scenic Beach State Park[edit]

The 88-acre Scenic Beach State Park located only two miles away from the city center began as the Emel family’s home-site in 1911. This home-site turned resort, turned state park offers areas for visitors to boat, camp, or picnic all while enjoying the views of the Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. To add to the atmosphere, visitors can enjoy the pleasantness of rhododendrons in the spring or harvest oysters along the shore when in season.[10]

Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve[edit]

The 158-acre Kitsap county nature reserve Guillemot Cove located only six miles from the city center was once the property of the Reynolds family from 1939 to 1993 when it was purchased. The area is open to the public, and visitors can enjoy the many trails that provide a pathway through this nature reserve. Visitors can also enjoy attractions such as a hollowed-out stump of a red cedar referred to as the Stump House, or simply enjoy the scenery provided by this preservation of nature.[11]


  1. ^ "Seabeck". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 427. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Hal K.; James, Karen M. (1981). Cultural Resource Assessment of the Big Beef Creek Research Facility, Near Seabeck, Kitsap County, Washington (Report). Reconnaissance reports, no. 37. Seattle, Wash.: Office of Public Archaeology, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Washington. p. 31. OCLC 10192970.
  4. ^ Bowen et al., Book IV, p. 43.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2010-02-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Johnson, Judith (1960). "Source Materials for Pacific Northwest History: Washington Mill Company Papers". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 51:3: 136–138. JSTOR 40487495.
  7. ^ a b Durie, Helen (1920). "Shipbuilding in the Pacific Northwest". The Washington Historical Quarterly. 11:3: 183–201. JSTOR 40474592.
  8. ^ Melton, Charles (2008)
  9. ^ Hanley, Patricia (1957). "Anderson's Landing: Life in the Early Settlements on Hood Canal". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 48:1: 11. JSTOR 40487216.
  10. ^ Walker, T. "Scenic Beach State Park, a Washington park located near Bainbridge Island, Bremerton and Port Orchard". Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  11. ^ "Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve". Retrieved 2018-05-29.


Melton, Charles (19 December 2008). "Fate of Seabeck Elementary school unknown". Central Kitsap Reporter. Retrieved 18 January 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bowen, Evelyn T.; Kvelstad, Rangvald; Parfitt, Elnora; Perry, Fredi; Stott, Virginia (1977). Kitsap County: A History: A Story of Kitsap County and its Pioneers (Second Edition, 1981 ed.). Seattle, Wash.: Dinner & Klein / Kitsap County Historical Society.
  • Johnson, Judith M. (July 1960). "Some Materials for Pacific Northwest History: Washington Mill Company Papers". Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 15 (3): 136–138. JSTOR 40487495.
  • Just, Fred (2016). Seabeck and the Surrounding Area. Poulsbo, Wash.: Kitsap Publishing. ISBN 978-1-942661-39-9.
  • Perry, Fredi; Mjelde, Michael Jay (1993). Seabeck: Tide's Out. Table's Set. Victoria Rowe, artist. Bremerton, Wash.: Perry Publishing.

External links[edit]