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Port Gamble is easily one of the unique cities in all of Washington, maybe even the entire country.
After all, the town was built in 1853 by employees of a logging company who mostly came from East Machias, Maine. Feeling a bit homesick and thinking it would attract more laborers from their neck of the woods, the loggers opted for homes built in the style of Victorian architecture that was so popular in New England at the time.
Today, many of those homes are still standing, now occupied by local businesses. Throughout this town of about 2,600 people, there are countless other callbacks to its early history, but that’s not the only reason people love living here.
Port Gamble is just as vibrant and fun as any other city in beautiful Kitsap County. So, if you’d love living in a historic town while enjoying all the advantages of the modern-day, it’s worth considering.
Despite Port Gamble’s historic feel, it’s kept up with the times in terms of its economy. Just like the rest of Kitsap County, the town enjoyed 1% job growth over the past month. Looking ahead at the next ten years, this growth is expected to continue another 36.5%. That’s especially impressive when you compare that to the rate for the rest of the country, which is just 33.5%.
The average income for residents of Port Gamble may only be $19,031, but that number looks a lot better when you consider how many retirees call the town home and only have part-time jobs or do seasonal work.
That’s why the median household income here is $60,170, which is one of the highest in all of Kitsap County. It also far surpasses the national median income of $53,482.
The majority of residents here work in:
Many commute to nearby towns in this part of the peninsula.
Keyport is located in the North Kitsap School District. The district serves almost 6,000 students from 7 communities. There are ten schools in total:
Elementary Schools (Pre-K – 5)
Middle Schools (6 – 8)
North Kitsap High School
If you’d like to send your children to a private school, you can choose from:
Both are within about a 20-30-minute drive from Port Gamble.
While it’s not the biggest city in Kitsap County, you’d never know it if you went by how many different ways there are to have a good time. It is truly impressive how many businesses operate here. Even better, once you’re in town, everything is within walking distance.
One of the many restaurants in Port Gamble that you’ll return to again and again is Butcher and Baker Provisions. This combination farmhouse restaurant, bakery, and butcher shop will give you a slew of reasons to return again and again.
The locally-sourced eatery is a great place to visit, but you can also pick up all the ingredients you need to make your favorite dish at home.
Another fun restaurant in town is Scratch Kitchen 360. It’s great for outdoor eating with a view, plus the menu features everything from fish and chips to brioche French toast to vegan options and several delicious beers on tap.
Right next to Scratch Kitchen 360, you’ll find the Port Gamble General Store and Cafe. It’s a perfect example of one of the historical gems that still calls the town home. Since 1916, locals have been coming here for a bite to eat or to pick up their groceries.
Today, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which includes many farm-to-table options. If you’re a fan of craft beer, you’ll enjoy the 24 rotating taps, but there’s an impressive list of wines and other spirits, as well. When the weather is beautiful, you can enjoy your meal on the deck overlooking the beautiful Hood Canal.
If you don’t find all of the groceries you need here, you can also drive about 15 minutes over to the Gliding Eagle Market in Kingston.
Locals who need a little pick-me-up in the morning stop by Galloping Gamble Espresso. The baristas can offer you anything from a black coffee to a Frappuccino to a Lotus energy drink.
Port Gamble is also known for its many charming stores.
There’s The Painted Lady, which offers a large selection of artisan, vintage, rustic, and repurposed pieces. It’s a fun place for decorating the inside and outside of your home. Another one-of-a-kind option would be Tango Zulu Imports, where you’ll find high-quality clothing and housewares that are made by hand.
Prefer to make your apparel? Then you’ll love The Artful Ewe. It’s a cozy store that is stocked with wool, fiber, and all the other weaving, sewing, and crocheting materials you need to make whatever your imagination desires. It’s also a great place to meet fellow enthusiasts, many of whom stop by to sit in the Cozy Corner and “sit and spin,” peruse the shelves of books they have, or share techniques with others.
Another reflection of this community’s passion for art can be found at Quilted Strait. Inside a building that’s more than a century old, explore their thousands and thousands of sewing cottons with a seemingly endless amount of wool, embroidery, and stitching threads, too. If you’re the type of person who loves creating clothing for yourself and your loved ones, Quilted Strait and The Artful Ewe will give you everything you need.
While there are many different ways to have a good time in Port Gamble, one of the simple pleasures here is walking around and enjoying the history that surrounds you. It’s probably the only place in all of Washington where the humanmade scenery is as incredible as the natural environment.
For example, the Port Gamble Historic District has been popular with tourists and locals for decades and was even designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1966. Hike up to the hillside cemetery that has been there for more than 100 years and takes in a fantastic panoramic view of the town around you.
Speaking of history, the Port Gamble Historic Museum will get you caught up on the city’s fascinating past. The building itself was constructed in 1916, making it as much a reason visit as any. Aside from Port Gamble’s naval days, the museum also houses a wide range of artifacts from its 100+ year history as a significant sawmill town.
Like many cities with this much history, Port Gamble is bursting with local pride. You’ll see that on display during the annual Old Mill Days festival. In recent years, 10,000+ people have converged on the city to enjoy the Lumberjack Show, ice sculptures, chainsaw carving competitions, carnival rides, live music, a car show, and so much more.
Whenever you feel like expanding your horizons a bit, you can also head to the Kingston ferry terminal. It’s only 20 minutes away, but it will take you right to Seattle where you can enjoy a Seahawks game or – for a real change of pace – the Museum of Pop Culture.
Residents of Port Gamble love making the most of their unique piece of the Pacific Northwest. No matter how you decide to enjoy it, the local Olympic Outdoor Center will give you everything you need to do so. Whether it’s camping gear, climbing tools, or a wetsuit, you’ll find it there. They even offer rentals and give lessons if you’re new to kayaking or paddle boarding.
You won’t be lacking for access to the water, though there’s plenty to do on the shore, too. Port Gamble Heritage Park has a beach that provides yet another great view, whether you’re walking along the bay or facing Squamish Harbor. The entire coastline is also perfect for clamming and spotting all kinds of wildlife that call this area home.
While Port Gamble doesn’t have a marina, it’s still a very popular place for people who love kayaking. From the shore, it’s easy to paddle to Hood Canal and Kitsap Peninsula’s southern launching point to the famous Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails.
Back on land, many locals get their exercise by mountain biking the city’s many trails or simply walking them. You can’t beat these views while you’re getting some exercise. The famous NW Epic Series mountain bike race also takes place here, thanks to the fun terrain.
People are always looking to buy homes in Port Gamble because there’s simply no other place like it in the entire world. If you love the history of the Pacific Northwest and its incredible natural features, there’s no better place to live.
Fortunately, there are usually a good number of homes on the market throughout the year, though they don’t stay there for long.
This popularity means many of these homes are more expensive than elsewhere in Kitsap County. Of course, for the price, you enjoy all of the benefits mentioned above of living here. Furthermore, the majority of homes in Port Gamble are sizable. A house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large yard is reasonably standard.
That said, you could also consider the many open lots here. Some even offer a coastline view, a perk that will never get old.
For more than 15 years, I have had the pleasure of showing people around Port Gamble. Whether they were looking for their first home or the house they’d retire in, I love watching people fall in love with this unique city.
If you’re considering a house in Port Gamble, I’d be more than happy to show you around. With my experience as a real estate broker, I can tell you all about the current market here and help you quickly find the home of your dreams.
Contact me today at 425-495-0394 or via email with any questions you have or to begin the process of finding that perfect house in Port Gamble.
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