Port Townsend: History and Role in Widow Walk

    • Port TownsendPort Townsend, was named in 1792 by explorer George Vancouver after his friend the Marquis of Townsend. Located on the  northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, it was inhabited solely by Native Americans throughout the 1700’s and early 1800’s. The Chimakum people were the predominant group.
    • The Klallam Indians controlled the land that encompassed the area of the future Port Townsend, but friendly negotiations took place between whites and the tribe, led by Chetzemoka and his older brother, S’Hai-ak. Disease through contact with white explorers decimated their populations and weakened them to the point of being unable to defend themselves against the intruders.
    • The first official white settler of Port Townsend was Henry C Wilson, who staked a claim around 1850, though there is some dispute as to whether he was the first non-Native to live in the town.

    • The area was recognized for its easy access as a port and has been used in that manner throughout it’s history until the present day. During the late nineteenth century, speculators named the town “The City of Dreams” because of their projection that the familiar port would be the dominant settlement in the Pacific Northwest.
    • In Widow Walk, as in reality, Port Townsend is an important hub for deliveries, transportation, and commerce.
    • Isaac and Emmy Evers (Ebey) relied on the military and commercial ships coming into Port Townsend and Bellingham to purchase their farm’s livestock and produce.  Their farm was located northeast of the fort directly across the strait.
    • Port TownsendPort Townsend is where the USS Massachusetts was docked and then called for to back up Pickett’s defense of the San Juan Islands. It played an ongoing role for Pickett to receive troops and supplies throughout the disagreement.
    • Emmy negotiates a large deal with Pickett to purchase beef from she and Isaac’s farm to cut out the Port Commander of Port Townsend from his resale scheme.
    • Today, Port Townsend is the County Seat for Jefferson County Washington, has a population of about 9,000 and draws tourists due to its beauty and Victorian charm.