Thursday, July 26, 2012

Art Glein, Glein Boatbuilding (Eddon Boatyard)

Bjarne (Left) Art (right) Glein - 1930 Tacoma
Courtesy of Linda Glein
Art Glein
Glein Boat Company (site of today's Eddon Boatyard)

Almost everyone in Gig Harbor is familiar with the city-owned waterfront property of Eddon Boatyard, but most people don't know much about the owner who sold the property to Ed Hoppen and Don Harder -- the two men who ran Eddon Boat Company, which gave the park its name.

I asked Gary Glein if he would share some of his father's history in Gig Harbor. Fortunately for me, Gary agreed and below you can read his father's story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Art and Dot Glein built the building and house now known as Eddon Boatyard in 1945.

Art was of Norwegians descent and was born in Balfour, North Dakota, in 1907. By the mid 1920s he had moved to Tacoma and by the end of the decade he worked for Andrew's Fixture as a cabinetmaker and ran the Tacoma Flying Service along with his brother Bjarne Glein.

In the mid-1930s Art began his boat building career by building a yacht in his yard in North Tacoma. He then had a boating service facility near old Tacoma. In 1945, Art purchased the Anderson Boatyard in Gig Harbor and built the existing yard and the home where he and his wife lived. They had no children at that time.

Glein Boat Company. The family house is at the left.
Art successfully built yachts and fishing boats and completed repairs as Glein Boat Co. Many of those boats are still being used in Northwest waters. In January, 1950, the harbor froze, trapping boats and making it difficult for Art to complete his boat orders on time. Frustrated, he put the yard up for sale, and when it sold, he moved to California and then Florida to do contracting work. Years later he moved back to the Northwest and lived on Day Island, Mercer Island, and Meydenbauer Bay, always on the water.

Art passed away in 1990 at the age of 83.

Art was always an entrepreneur, friendly to everyone, and a lover of boating and the water. With his yard, he continued Gig Harbor's boat building legacy and left us with buildings that have become a wonderful community park and facility.

Gary Glein
July 2012

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