Seaports of the World
United States: Washington
Since it was officially established as the location of the Custom House in 1861, Port Angeles has had a long and colorful history. Don Francisco de Eliza discovered the deep-water harbor in 1791. All trade in and out of Port Angeles came through the harbor and today the Port of Port Angeles still maintains a vigorous harbor for trade and commerce.
Port Angeles was established as a town site by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 by executive order which led the Board of Trade in 1890 to call it the "Second National City", Washington DC being the first.
Most of the land was held as a military reserve until 1894. Forest and fishing industries played major roles in the boom and bust economy of Port Angeles. The regenerative forest around Port Angeles supplied the building materials for Seattle, San Francisco and beyond. Salmon was king of the Strait and plentiful for all to fish.
The Port is on the Olympic Peninsula, where hot springs in Olympic National Park were touted for their medicinal value early in the 1900s. Residents of Seattle made the 3-5 day journey to spend a week at Olympic and Sol Duc Hot Spring Resorts. They arrived in Port Angeles or Port Crescent on the "Mosquito Fleet" (independent ferries that were the major transport in Puget Sound) and then travel by wagon through the forest.
Generally when someone mentions a "frontier town," images of mining or cattle towns come to mind. But along America's coastlines, logging was a pioneer industry. Europe had decimated her forests, and America's Eastern Seaboard was being used for lumber from the time the pilgrims first arrived in the 1600s and by the 1700s, ships were being built along the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Virginia. Those ships carried lumber to Europe, and around the Horn to San Francisco; a treacherous undertaking at best.
At late as the Gold Rush, ships were still bringing lumber around the Horn.
Then, during the 1850s, mills began appearing along the West Coast just north of San Francisco up into Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. By the 1880s, more than 400 mills were operating in California's Humboldt Forest region alone.
The Puget Sound area of Oregon's protected coastline enjoyed an ice-free climate year round. In 1863, William Renton built the Port Blakely Mill on the southeastern shore of Bainbridge Island. A partner, Charles S. Holmes, supervised marketing activities from his San Francisco office. Because of a lack of water, activities were extended through the acquisition of "Puget Sound & Grays Harbor," line which was changed to the G.S. Simpson Co., and the line extended.
By 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed, providing a overland connection with Eastern markets. By 1885, the Port Blakely Mill was the world's largest, employing 1,200 men cutting 400,000 feet of lumber per day.
The company also purchased the Russian gunboat Politokofsky, stripped it of its guns, and used her as a carrier around Puget Sound. Renton also purchased five lumber schooners as carriers, and a tugboat to shove logs around on the Sound. When the Hall Brothers Shipyard was constructed near the Port Blakely Mill in 1881, the S.S. Julia — the largest sternwheeler in the Northwest — was built, along with scores of schooners and other craft.
Port TownsendThe Morning Oregonian, Thursday, April 3, 1890
City of Great Importance!
Reason 1: It has the best harbor of Puget Sound, from Cape Flattery to Olympia, having the most convenient anchorage over the greatest area, from 5 to 15 fathoms deep, with the best holding ground. There are no bars, shoals, rocks or hidden dangers of any kind throughout the entire bay, which is land locked and well sheltered from the stormy winds and from the heavy ocean swell.>
Reason 2: Ease of approach from tech ocean. A sailing vessel can run direct from tech ocean to the anchorage in Port Townsend Bay, with a westerly wind, or beat up to her anchorage with an easterly wind, the Straits of Fuca being over 12 miles wide, while above Port Townsend to any of the cities the navigation is more intricate, requiring the constant use of tugs. Steamers can run the distance from tech ocean to Port Townsend during the densest fogs by aid of their compass alone, there being no hidden danger to apprehend.
Reason 3: It is the port of entry of Puget Sound, and its geographical position is such that it will afford greater facilities to commerce over a greater extend of country than any other position on Puget Sound.
Reason 4: It is at the entrance to Admiralty Inlet and within the lines of the proposed military works for the defense of Puget Sound, and is where the naval squadron will have a rendezvous, and where the government will build a dry dock for repairs, and a naval station for supplies for our naval vessels and the merchant marine
Reason 5: It will become the great wheat shipping point on the Pacific Coast. it has been ascertained that from the junction of the Snake and Columbia Rivers to Port Townsend, there is a fall of about 400 feet, and that it is practically very nearly a level grade and that one engine can haul 25 loaded cars to Port Townsend, while it takes two engines to haul 14 loaded cars through the tunnel to Tacoma. The peninsula which lies between Port Townsend and Port Discovery harbors, presents on both these harbors a greater extent of waterfront than any other position on Puget Sound, both of which can be utilized by one line of railroad, thus offering greater facilities for handling vast quantities of wheat than can be found elsewhere in the whole country.
Reason 6: It will be the headquarters and great point of transit of all the whaling fleet, which can here ship all their oil and bone to Eastern markets and save 700 miles of ocean travel, which they now have to take to transport these products to San Francisco.
Reason 7: It will be the headquarters of the flabbing business. The Union Pacific Railroad Co. state to the senate committee on relations with Canada who were here in 1889, that they intend putting in refrigerator cars to take fresh fish through on the long haul at greatly reduced rates, and will here ship all the salmon pack, as well as other fish products destined for the interior and Eastern market.
Reason 8: It is the point of departure for all passengers and freight to British Columbia and Alaska, and its unrivaled scenery makes it the admiration of all tourists who have ever visited Puget Sound.
Reason 9: It is the location on the smelting works of Irondale, on Port Townsend Bay, where the best charcoal iron known in the world is produced. A plant will be put up at these works by the company to manufacture steel plated for boilers and for building vessels, steel rails and all iron material required for railroad construction and every kind of iron for blacksmith use.
Reason 10: Port Townsend, by its geographical position, is intimately and directly connected with Portland, being due north, as can be seen on any map. The Willamette meridian, which commences in Portland as its initial point, terminates in Port Townsend bay, between Point Hudson and Marrowstene Point. The Port Townsend Southern railroad will soon connect the two cities, and Port Townsend will become in fact one of Portland's most important shipping points.
Reason 11: Because on the peninsula between Port Townsend and Port Discovery bays will be built within the very near future the most important city on the Pacific Coast, a city that will be fostered and developed by the Union Pacific railroad, which will here have its grand western terminus, from whence will proceed lines of great ocean steamships which will bring in the commerce of Asia and China and the South Seas.
SS Indianapolis was built by the Craig Shipyards at Toledo, Ohio in 1904. 765 tons, Length: 180' Beam: 32' Draft: 18' 6", Propulsion: triple-expansion steam engine, Horsepower: 1,500 Speed: 16 knots. The Indianapolis spent the last years of her life carrying cars from Edmonds to Port Townsend, Washington. With the arrival of the ferries from San Francisco, the Indianapolis, with her costly steam power plant was soon withdrawn from service.
Sacramento Daily Union, June 17, 1869
Bark "Tidal Wave."— The largest vessel ever constructed on the Pacific coast was recently launched at Port Madison, Puget Sound. She was built entirely of Puget Sound fir, by W. J. Bryant, for Meigs & Gawley. Her mold is nearly the same as that of the bark Northwest, recently built by the same parties, but is about thirty feet longer. Sbe is named the Tidal Wave, is about 600 tons, and is commanded by Captain Reynolds, formerly of the bark Gold Hunter. She will carry about 750,000 feet of lumber. She has wire rigging, is single decked, and is in every respect a first class vessel. She is now loading lumber at the Port Madison mills, for this port.
Held during the summer of 1909, was the first world's fair held in Seattle. Capitalizing on the popularity of the booming gold rush, the exposition was designed to showcase the riches of the Pacific Northwest and highlight trade with the Pacific Rim nations and beyond.
Millions of visitors came to Seattle to experience the one-of-a-kind attractions, exhibits, and events held during the AY PE, which became the footprint for the modern University of Washington campus. Many of these visitors stayed to populate the growing metropolis. From the ornate European-style architecture to the fountains and gardens, the amusements of the Pay Streak, and the exotic Oriental exhibits, the AYPE entertained and educated while bringing needed business to Washington State.
The Puget Sound region was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before settlers arrived. After initially landing at Alki Beach in West Seattle, the Denny Party established a settlement on the eastern shores of Elliott Bay in 1852. For years, the cultural and commercial life centered around Yesler''s Wharf and Sawmill.
The city grew rapidly following the 1870s after the discovery of coal in the Cascade foothills. The entire commercial district was incinerated in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, but it was quickly rebuilt out of enduring brick and stone. The city stumbled economically following the Panic of 1893, but it recovered after the Klondike Gold Rush began in 1897. By the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle was the undisputed leader in the Pacific Northwest.