Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tea and Tour Presentation - October 2013

We would like to share with you some of the Tea and Tour Presentation  given by our Harbor History Museum Docents.  The men and women who are presenters spend much time and effort in researching their subject material and gathering pictures to share with you.  Their hard work needs more publicity than just the one hour a month when you attend the presentation in person.  This will also allow those who overlooked or forgot to mark their calendar to attend.  But whatever you do, please enjoy the brief glimpse into the history of the greater Gig Harbor community.

Were you able to attend the October 2013 Tea and Tour presentation on the Gig Harbor Cemeteries?  Why cemeteries?  Well, it was October wasn’t it?  And don’t you remember the ghostly tales about about the comings and goings on All Hallows Eve?  Well, the presentation by Rosemary Ross, Annette and Frank Bannon wasn’t about those ghostly tales or playing tricks or other activities that might have occurred in cemeteries connected to Halloween or All Hallows Eve.

Instead Rosemary, Annette and Frank wanted to share some of the history of our local Gig Harbor area cemeteries.  

Rosemary spoke on the Rosedale Cemetery and the following are her notes;

The original name of the cemetery was the Greenwood Cemetery.

The land was donated by Captain Daniel McLean, an officer in the Civil War.  Up until that time people buried their dead on their own property.  Captain McLean had a personal interest as his first wife and infant daughter were buried on the homestead in 1887.  They were later moved to the new cemetery.  The property was a gift from his estate administered by his second wife, Mrs. Sarah McLean.The actual digging of the graves along with sympathetic moral support was gladly donated by neighbors.  All maintenance was done by volunteers and after a certain amount of work a family could earn a lot.  At some point a price of $55.00 was set for a 20 foot lot.  The earliest graves bear 1890 dates.  

Rosedale Cemetery Established 1896
Rosedale Cemetery 

There was an organization of sorts as early as 1888.  But the cemetery was officially founded in 1896.  The Rosedale Cemetery Association was officially incorporated by the State of Washington on November 5, 1924.Due to the Depression and changing economic time the cemetery was abandoned to scotch broom.  There was a short lived attempt to revive it in 1938.  In 1958 a renewed interest was shown and in 1959 the revitalized group went to work.The Association is now financially solvent, meets quarterly with David Bothwell as president.  His great-great grandparents are buried there, as are mine (Rosemary).  An annual newsletter is published.

The original plats are still used today but when Rosedfale Street was rerouted in 1950 a new section was added which enlarged the cemetery considerably.  It also left a small corner of the cemetery on the other side of Rosedale Street.

When I (Rosemary) attended Rosedale School our classroom, grades 4 through 8, was run as a city under the tutorage of Mrs. Evelyn Miller.  We had a mayor, policeman, fireman (in charge of fire drills) council and sanitary engineers (garbage people).  My friend, Frances Carroll, and I were delighted to be designated as sanitary engineers because when our work was done we were allowed to go off the school grounds with stocks with a nail in the end to collect debris by the side of the road and also patrol the cemetery.

We really can’t discuss the history of the Rosedale Cemetery without mentioning 2 outstanding contributors to the association.  It is true we’ve had many faithful volunteers over the years by Olive Fuqua, who recently passed away at age 97.  She was a tireless worker, holding every office in the association at one time or another and hard to keep up with in the cemetery on work days.  Her niece, Ellen Gauthier, has followed her footsteps, having also held every office and to this day is still the one we call for information pertaining to the plots and the family history of the “residents” in the cemetery.”

Annette and Frank Bannon spoke extemporaneously on the Artondale Cemetery where Frank is Sexton, and Annette is Secretary.  They also presented a slide of 20 photos of the cemetery grounds including new 48 niche Columbraria for cremated remains.  Some of the high points of their presentation included the following facts besides providing a list of all the private cemeteries in the Gig Harbor area (listed below) included:

Present a list of all private cemeteris ib Gig Harbor Area
Discussion points: Private , non-profit cemeteries, run by volunteers, following Washington State Cemetery Board RCWs (Revised Code of Washington ) (Laws)
Following the RCW’s a cemetery can set their own rules on :
Prices, Policies, Burials, Headstone Monuments, and Maintenance, among others.
Our cemeteries are maintained by conations and volunteers.

History of Artondale Cemetery-- incorporated in 1895 with donated 3 acres of land from the Hunt family
Artondale Cemetery - Established 1895

Miles Hunt's Land donated to Artondale Cemetery

Miles Hunt's Gravestone

List of historical “residents” of Artondale Cemetery
Hunt family members.MD Hunt, Emmet Hunt, MA Hunt among others Every week on Wednesday you will find one of Emmett’s diary entries from Wednesday 1881 and 1882.  1883 will appear in 20
Samuel Jerisich -“ Jerisich Park”
Dr. Hiram H. Rust
Helen and Dorothy Wilkinson- “Wilkinson Park”  HHM wrote a blog on this family in Jul 2012
Ancich - Ancich net shed and park  The HHM wrote a blog on this Ancich family in April 2013
Spadoni - Segheiri
William Duley ( a short history of him was given)  The HHM wrote a blog on Captain W. J. Duley in April 2012
  • Artondale Cemetery Established 1895
  • Rosedale Cemetery Established 1896 - AKA Greenwood Cemetery
  • Gig Harbor Cemetery Established August 28, 1891
  • Minter Cemetery
  • Hales Passage Scandinavian Lutheran Cemetery Founded 1903 - AKA Cromwell Cemetery
  • Fox Island Cemetery
  • Home Cemetery 
  • Vaughn Bay Cemetery AKA Bay View Cemetery
  • Niemann Family Cemetery - A private family cemetery
  • Lakebay Cemetery
  • Old German Evangelical Lutheran (Church) Cemetery
  • Longbranch Cemetery
  • Victor Cemetery (AKA Pederson Family Cemetery)
  • Burley Cemetery
  • Olalla Cemetery (AKA Old Olalla and Old Pioneer Cemetery)
  • Weeks’ Haven of Rest Funeral Home Crematory and Cemetery

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Camp TaHaDoWa, Tanglewood Island

As I write this, the Harbor History Museum has a special exhibition of “1987, A Day in the Life Photography Exhibit”…The exhibit showcases a variety of photographs taken in 1987 as a fundraiser for the construction of the lighthouse built at the mouth of Gig Harbor’s harbor.  Why the exhibit now in 2013?  To remind everyone that the time capsules placed in 1987 will be opened April 26, 2014.  Also to allow you to participate in the 2014 fund raising project by purchasing a time capsule to be opened in 2039 and to the “2014, A Day in the Life Photography” project to be exhibited then.

And so, when I ran across an article in the Resource Room that appeared in The Seattle Times on April 17, 1947, I naturally thought.  What a great coincidence!  Okay, so The Seattle Times was celebrating a different lighthouse.  But both lighthouses are in the greater Gig Harbor area:  the one connected to the current special exhibit at the HHM, and the other, on Tanglewood Island.

For many years, Tanglewood was known as Grave Island, and was sacred to the Nisqually Indians, who for decades had practiced tree burials by placing their honored dead in dugout canoes high in the fir trees. Later Tanglewood Island became the summer home to Conrad L. Hoska (1856-1910), Tacoma pioneer.  When Mr. and Mrs Hoska were sailing one day near Grave Island (at that time called Ellen’s Island by the locals, Mrs. Hoska was so taken with the island’s beauty that she remarked to her husband something like “If I had a million dollars, I would buy that island and make my own personal kingdom.”  But she didn’t have to wait for a million dollars as a very short time later Mr. Hoska bought it for her.

In 1933 Dr. Alfred Schultz purchased the island for $8,000.  After Dr. Schultz purchased the island according to The Seattle Times article Dr. Schultz said the Smithsonian Institute remove all traceable relics from Grave Island prior to 1891.  The name, Tanglewood, was chosen as the official name of the island by the US Board on Geographic Names in 1947.  Prior to that it was called by other names besides Grave Island such as Grant Island, Ellens Isle, and Hoska Island. (1)

Dr. Schultz is responsible for building the boys camp on the island’s 18 acres.  The camp name Ta-Ha-Do-Wa supposedly means “welcome back to pleasant surroundings.”  He is quoted as saying he couldn’t find an appropriate word in the Nisqually language for the camp, so he used a Puyallup tribal word.

Dr. Schultz was a native of Nebraska and taught physical education at the University of Michigan while attending medical school there. He moved to Tacoma in 1927 to complete his internship at Tacoma General Hospital.  Schultz had a lifelong interest in health and sports from an early age.  He worked at a boys’ camp in Michigan as a youngster, where he was first introduced to canoeing.  In 1920-21 he pitched in the Cleveland Indians baseball team (2)

The island is only three miles from Fox Island and Dr. Schultz felt the island should have a lighthouse to symbolize the camp.  

Dr. Schultz purchased a Willits canoe for his personal use in the mid-1930s, before the camp was established.  Because of his appreciation of the Willits brothers and their canoes he bought their canoes for the camp.But canoeing and its related activities wasn’t the only activity for the boys while at camp.  Other activities included tumbling, boxing, tennis, archery, swimming, track and baseball as regular scheduled morning activities.  Evening activities included things like fishing, photography, overnight trips story hour and camper/counselor discussion.  Optional activities might be rifle, crafts, hikes, volleyball, canoe and boat races.

Sunday Outting in Willits Canoes though not the Camp TaHaDoWa Campers

In 1947, the 45-foot lighthouse built of concrete brick and sloping from 18-foot floor diameter to 15-foot roof, stood at the east tip of the island facing Warren across the water.  The Seattle Times goes onto say “It’s the first round lighthouse to be built in the US in 85 years.  The government approved its design, authorized the installation of a beacon light which will be turned on in June (1947) and consented to changing the island’s name from Grave to Tanglewood.”  The lighthouse is no longer functional, but still stands as a historical monument to the island, the camp and Dr. Schultz.

 An Island in Time, Growing up in the 1940s by Don Edgers, Page 177-178 has a great recollection of the campers on Sundays when they canoed to Fox Island Congregational Church to attend church from an eight year-old boy as he watched them come and go as well as attending church with them. (3)

Fox Island Congregational Church

I couldn’t resist sharing with you The Seattle Times article on Dr. Schultz and his lighthouse.  But for much more on Tanglewood Island, you might consider a visit to the Fox Island Historical Museum as their museum keeps alive the history of Fox Island.  

(1) The Seattle Times, April 17, 1947
(2) The Willits Brothers and their Canoes, Wooden Boat Craftsmen in Washington State, 1908-1967 by Patrick F. Chapman

(3) An Island in Time, Growing up in the 1940s by Don Edgers, Page 177-178 

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Emmett Hunt's Diary Wednesday December 6, 1882

Wednesday December 6, 1882:  Pretty fair day but mostly foggy in PM.  Cleaned up the boat & watered then did several tinkering jobs.  Studying Pres. Garfield's biography vigorously these eves.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

District Association of Gig Harbor Lady Merchants - DAGHLM

It seems that whenever you pick up a newspaper you read about a community whose ‘downtown’ is dwindling, stores going out of business or barely hanging on.  They talk about the need for revitalization; for renewal of the area in order to attract business.  A lot of the time though they fail to discuss how to keep the business that they do attract.  

This is something that has a very long history although since the downturn in the recent economy it has attracted a much more vocal media.  And if you participate in any of the social networking sites, once a week you will see a posting like “Small Business Saturday - When you shop small and local more than 50% of the money you spend stays in the community”  sponsored by “small” which I recently saw.

Going back as far as The Bay Island News in 1917 and continuing after C. E. Trombley purchased it  in 1923 and changed the name to The Peninsula Gateway to the present there have been calls to support the local businesses.

In 1970 a group of seven local lady merchants took matters into their own hands decided to form an organization to promote the local business and to assist each other whenever and wherever possible in the development of business.  Those seven women were Virginia Martin, Nineteenth Century Millwork; Carole Chalk, White Whale; Shirley Dearth, Mostly Books; Katharine Hamma, Hobby Hut; Connie Steiler, Incurable Collector; Evelyn Sass, manager of Slaughters; and Marge Anderson, Scandia Gaard.

These visionary women recognized the beauty of Gig Harbor and the historical value of Gig Harbor and decided to get busy and do some to promote the town’s potential.  They organized and helped to create a unified atmosphere by cleaning up, painting and converting unoccupied spaces of the downtown waterfront area into active business operations.  The group put together a “tourist bag” to distribute to, who else, tourists.  Some of the items included were a map, business directory, candy, a photo of the harbor, pen, pencil and ruler, tea, and business cards.  They also put a a “Trivia on Gig Harbor” and even today has a few items that you might not know.  I won’t put all of the items down but just enough to give you a flavor of the information the sheet contained.
  • One of the first bath tubs in Gig Harbor was in the building known as the Harbor Inn (now in 2013 the Windemere Building).
  • Long time resident Mrs. Grace McKenzie started her married life on Vashon Island.  Mrs. McKenzie once walked to Lisabeulah, rowed to Ollala, and then walked to Horseshoe Lake to tell her logger husband about a job.  J. W. McKenzie was later on the original board of directors of the Peninsula State Bank.
  • In the early 20s, before there was a light company, Dick Thurston lit the west side of town with a 32-volt generator including his own building (Kuhn Jewelry), the Peninsula Hotel (Spiro’s and Allstar Guitar and Imagine Great Things and Gallery Row and the Novak Building now Windemere Building)
  • The worlds record for racing rooster is 80 yards in 12 1/2 seconds set in 1937 by Dot, a Gig Harbor Rooster.  Back in 1935-48 it was a sport for local residents to bet on racing roosters.  A man named Clarence Shaw raised them and raced them on specially built tracks here, in South Tacoma, at San Francisco World’s Fair, and at Madison Square Garden for the Hobby Lobby Radio Show

Their driving force was, as stated by Shirley Holman in an article in Ladies Circle, March 1975 “We saw in Gig Harbor a place where people could come to enjoy the old traditions of a fishing village, purchase quality goods made locally, and go away refreshed by the beauty of the area.  We also wanted to retain the flavor of the fishing village ….and to provide services of value to local residents and visitors.”      

DAGHLM members also recognized that many of the residents were of Scandinavian and Yugoslavian ancestry, descendants of the original settlers and fishermen who founded the community in 1867.  And those residents still remembered the celebrations, handicrafts, and skills brought over from the old country.  The members of DAGHLM hoped to revive the handicrafts by selling the products on a consignment basis in their shops and to revive and celebrate the traditions to be enjoyed by visitors.

Each shop was owned and operated independently but DAGHLM worked as a group organizing, advertising, planning events and helping each other.  As their success grew, more businesses joined DAGHLM, and John Holman, owner of an insurance agency, was the first male member of DAGHLM.  

By 1982 DAGHLM merged into a newly formed Gig Harbor Retail and Restaurant Association, but the guiding force remained the same “to promote the Gig Harbor and Peninsula business community and to assist each other whenever possible in development of our business.”  This new association continued to operate until 2007 when the downtown business community joined the “Main Street Program”  and was renamed Gig Harbor Historical Waterfront Association GHHWA.  This name was changed in 2013 to Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance, but still member of the Main Street Program.

Those events that DAGHLM started events in Spring and Fall as the Festival of Shops, and included participation in the then Harbor Holidays (now the Maritime Gig) Parade, the Christmas tree Lighting and Boat Parade continue today.  The summer theatre performances presented by the Drama Department of the University of Puget Sound have been replaced by the Summer Concerts and Summer Movie Nights.  Today, under the Main Street Program, there are almost monthly events taking place in town.  However those cries for revitalization continue, and the merchants are now joined by the property owners, property managers, the City of Gig Harbor and other stakeholders in their quest for the prize.

I apologize for using pictures of some of the 2013 downtown merchants rather than historic photos but there is just a possibility that these photos will encourage you to check our the current downtown shops.  For a current directory of businesses please contact the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the GH Downtown Waterfront Alliance.  AND, please don’t overlook the HHM Gift Shop! 
© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Emmett Hunt's Diary Wednesday November 29, 1882

Wednesday November 29, 1882:  Weather remarkably fine.  Stowed the boat with a good cargo of wood, cut some wood for the house & also did some tinkering.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Celebrating Heritage and Holidays at the Harbor History Museum

There will be lots of fun events at the Harbor History Museum come November 22 and 23, 2013.  We certainly hope you join us for the fun and entertaining time.

What could be more fun than tasting holiday treats and beverages made from traditional recipes from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Croatia?  I’m hungry already just thinking about them.

This year, the Harbor History Museum will host some very special events to honor our heritage and showcase all the museum has to offer.  Throughout the holiday season, area children may gain free museum admission by bringing food donations for area food banks. 

The museum gift shop will host its annual Traditional Scandinavian and Croatian Christmas Open House each day.  Holiday treats and beverages will be served and many special gift items will be available that depict our rich Scandinavian/Croatian heritage.  

Harbor History Museum Gift Shop

When did you say?  From 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on both days, November 22 and 23, 2013.  See you there!

Yugoslavian Singers at Harbor Holidays 1971

Scandinavian doll and book waiting to be taken home

BUT that’s not all! 

On Saturday, November 23, the public is invited the 120th Birthday Party for the Midway Schoolhouse from 1:00-3:00 PM.  Museum admission is free for the day.  Activities will include a raffle of schoolhouse related items, demonstrations, photos with a schoolmarm or schoolmaster (bring your own camera), and a brief program at 2:00 PM with special guest speakers and birthday cake. Children will have the opportunity to make schoolhouse ornaments for the lobby Christmas tree.

District #79, Midway School 1978 Before the move to HHM

The 120th Birthday of the schoolhouse is also the official release date of the children’s book, Midway in History Inspired by her work at the museum as Headmistress Abigail Bennett for the “Pioneer School Experience,” Leann O’Neill fulfilled her goal to write and publish a children’s book.  Told from the viewpoint of the schoolhouse, the book details historical facts and perceptions from 1893 to the present.  Because the museum has been and continues to be strongly supported by the local area, Leann wanted the book to be a community effort as well.  Illustrator Marion Ekberg is a long-time Gig Harbor resident and former colleague in the Peninsula School District. Local publisher Jan Walker of Plicata Press was instrumental in completing the project and getting the book printed.  “The title of the book includes the schoolhouse name, but also embodies the idea that the schoolhouse and, in the broader sense, our museum and community are each now “mid-way” in history with such a rich past, a vibrant present, and endless possibilities for the future,” said O’Neill.

Midway Student Body 1914

Midway Students

When did you say?  The 120th Midway Birthday Party starts at 1:00 PM and goes until 3:00 PM  The schedule looks like this:

  • All Day - Raffle Tickets; Power Point Presentation of the Midway Schoolhouse from 1893 to present; Photos with Schoolmarm/Master with your own camera; Midway in History book for $10 & signing; Gallery Tours; Video in Schoolhouse of Midway students; and children decorating schoolhouse cookie cutters for the Christmas tree.
  • 1:30-1:45 - Schoolhouse Demonstration
  • 1:45-2:00 - Book Signing
  • 2:00-2:15 - Welcome by Debra Ross, HHM Board President; Comments by Ted Smith, HHM Executive Director and introduction of special guests; Comments by Betty Felker, Rotary President; Comments by Leann O’Neill, Head Schoolmistress and Author of Midway in History; and followed by singing Happy Birthday and Cake.
I'm looking forward to seeing you at the celebration on November 22 and 23, 2014 at the Harbor History Museum.  Please join us.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Old Gig Harbor Hotel

When many of us think about the old Gig Harbor hotels, we generally think about the Novak Hotel which burned in a dramatic fire in the early 20th century and the Gilich and Richardson’s Peninsula Hotel built in 1925.  The Peninsula hotel still stands majestically at the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Harborview Drive, although the merchants have changed as has the interior of the hotel itself.

Today in November 2013 the nine hotel rooms on the upper level are occupied by All Star Guitar.  The street level is occupied by Spiro’s.  Imagine Great Things occupies the basement area. So the old building still has a lively life going on inside its walls.

But, there was an even hotel in Gig Harbor, built in 1892 by Mr. Charles Hess.  Surprisingly, it was operated as a hotel and rooming house from the beginning in 1892 until sometime in 1908.

The Old Gig Harbor Hotel is located at the head of the harbor with its view mostly towards the east and is located in the Henry Woodworth plat.  When I drove by it recently, it still looked like the photograph contained in the Pierce County Historic Preservation Inventory Project done in 1981.  The information in their narrative was prepared by Neil F. Sleevi with assistance of numerous residents and the Peninsula Historical Society.    The information that follows is from their report.

“The Gig Harbor Hotel was built in 1892 by a Mr. Charles Hess.  It is situated in the north part of Gig Harbor, Washington.  The original plat was done by the man who sold the property to Mr. Hess by an early settler to this region - Henry Woodworth.  This entire part of Gig Harbor still bears the name as the Woodworth Addition to Gig Harbor.  

He (Henry Woodworth) purchased 88 acres of this land from one Nettie Siebat in 1885 for 800 dollars.  A large value increase occurred on the original three lots on which the hotel stands in 1891 when sold to Mr. Hess.  The full purchase proce was 800 dollars at 10% interest on a one year note!  This seems unusual for what one would expect in 1891.

The Old Gig Harbor Hotel

The Gig Harbor Hotel was short-lived and would be considerd more of a rooming house than a hotel.  The fact remains that early residents have always known the structure as the “Old Gig Harbor Hotel or simply the old hotel.”.

The hotel was only operated as such for sixteen years.  It was not unlike many other large houses in this area in that it was a haven for early peninsula travelers.  According to accounts, steamship passengers would often become stranded on this side of the Narrows for the night and would have to wait until the following day to sail to the city of Tacoma.  This hotel and many of the other homes would lodge salesmen and the like.  A six-horse livery stable was located nearby at the old Scott home which still stands at the foot of Peacock Hill.  Travelers to Tacoma would put up animals there and other places like it.  

According to one account, the hotel is situated in an area of Gig Harbor that was once called by the name of Artena.  This is still documented on the original plat of this area.  The early passenger boats docked nearby and were within short walking distance of the hotel.  Also located in the neighborhood was the old Methodist Church which has since been moved.  Less than a half mile from the hotel, a mill was begun.

For the past seventy three years the hotel has been used as a private dwelling.  One later family in 1915 owned the home and was headed by a shoemaker with many children named Baldwin.  Since then it has been occupied sporadically by owners and renters.  There are several periods in its history that it was not occupied at all.  

Not many of the older homes remain on this side of the harbor today, but the old hotel is not forgotten by some as part of the early development of Gig Harbor.  It was built in the same year as the harbor’s large St. Louis Hotel.  In fall and winter it can be clearly seen throughout the Gig Harbor area.  It is situated on a hill facing east to Mt. Rainier and Gig Harbor.  It remains a strong link to a much different time in this part of the peninsula and the Northwest.

  • Interview with Mrs. Harold Ryan 
  • Interview with Mr. Oak Ludholm
  • Interview with Mrs. Ida Overly
  • Interview with Mrs. Betty Atwater
  • Interview with Mr. Ed Finholm
  • Interview with Mrs. Mabel Dillon (Scott)
  • Interview with Mrs. Nellie Erickson

All of the above mentioned persons were living in the Gig Harbor area between 1900-1910 or earlier except Mrs. Atwater”

The Old Gig Harbor Hotel

Please remember that the home is presently occupied as a private dwelling and one needs permission to enter the grounds.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Emmett Hunt's Diary Wednesday November 22, 1882

Wednesday November 22, 1882:  Being a fair day turn over prow southward & take in Olympia.  Stay 4 hours there  steam back reaching home at  11:15 PM

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

William S Peacock

Some of us may remember all the speculation going on around the purchase of the Peacock property back in 2008; and especially once construction started. Well,'Ohana Harbor Coffee purchased the property and developed it into their corporate offices.

But what do we know about the Civil War veteran that arrived in Gig Harbor in 1888?  Not as much as we should though we might be familiar with Peacock Real Estate founded by one of his grandsons, Frank “Proctor” Peacock in 1946 until 1976 when the firm merged with Coldwell Banker..

Before we start going over the family history lets start our conversation with William.  He was born in Gardiner, Maine on March 17, 1844.  At age 19 William enlisted in Company C, 2nd Maine Cavalry as a private on November 26, 1863 and was mustered out at end of Civil War in Barrances, Florida when entire regiment was mustered out on December 6, 1865 by Lt E. M. Schryver, Assistant Commissary of Musters as Corporal. 

After the Civil War William made his way back north and was married on October 6, 1874.  I can't tell you how long William and his wife lived in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.  But we do find them when they moved to Washington Territory in 1888.  In 1890 he purchased five acres of land overlooking Gig Harbor from Henry Woodworth's plat located at the top of the hill on what was the the Purdy Gig Harbor Co. Road.  It wasn't until 1898 when William started construction of their three story family home on his property known as Peacock Hill.  In fact Peacock Hill Avenue was named after him.

William S. Peacock Home 1898

William found many other veterans of the Civil War living in Gig Harbor and he joined them as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.  In the GAR rooster of Washington and Alaska for 1909 the local Gig Harbor chapter,  H. R. Loomis Post 80, the membership was listed as 15 members.  Those members were Anse Brown, M. B. Hunt, J. F. Allen, Wm. Kimball, Jno. Atkinson, T. L. Waters, Jno. S. Boyd, C. R. Lawrence, j. H. Dallstrum, Henry Woodworth, Geo. McGoon, G. Dunbar and William.

By August, 1912, four months following William's wife's death, William sought admission to the Port Orchard Veteran's Home.  He was just 68 years old.  William died of intestinal influenza on January 2, 1929 at age 85.  He was survived by his three children:  Maude Beadlestone, born 1876; Eva Rowley, born 1879; Ernest Peacock born 1880

The beautiful home that William had built for his family, and the property, was sold in 1920.  His son Ernest had married and had his own home as did both Ernest's sisters-Eva also in Gig Harbor and Maude in Bremerton.

I found a short chronological listing of William's property from 1890 to 1994.  I thought it might be interesting to read because it also helps us to understand why 'Ohana Harbor Coffee fits so well on the property as it takes it's place as caretaker of this beautiful scenic property.

  • 1890 Purchased property from Henry Woodworth
  • 1898 Construction begins on family home
  • 1929 William dies
  • 1929 Ed and May Fay purchase property and raise asparagus - Property now known as The Meadow
  • Mid to late 1940 Fays die and property is inherited by a niece living in Kansas City.  The house sits vacant and property becomes a favorite playground of children including William’s grandchildren.
  • 1955 Wilbur Johnson & Olaf “Roy” Thorstensen purchase house and Meadow.  They open a restaurant named Scandia Gaard.  Later they add a museum and gift shop.
Scandia Gaard

  • 1957 or early 1958 Johnson and Thorstensen acquire Roosterville, the miniature town made famous by Clarence Shaw.
Roosterville at Scandia Gaard

Pheasant run at Scandia Gaard

  • 1955-1967 Johnson and Thorstensen develop Scandia Gaard into a well known landmark and use property to help preserve the culture of their native land.  Midsommarfest is started.
  • 1967 Harold and Marje Anderson purchase the restaurant and The Meadow
  • 1972 The Andersons sell the property to Frank Pupo and Gay Buck who continue to operate the facility
  • 1976 Peninsula Playhouse and Performance Circle (Theatre West) combine forces to use The Meadow for outdoor theatre, and leads to a 20-year string of outdoor performances
  • Early 1980s Restaurant changes owners and name “Le Domaine for about 3 years
  • Mid 1980s Le Domaine closes and building sits vacant although the outdoor theatre continues
  • 1987 approximately Luciann and Larry Nadeau purchase the property
  • 1991 Property goes up for sale.  A group of 33 investors purchase the property with the intent of preserving the site for the community.
  • 1993 restaurant sold separately from The Meadow and reopens as North by Northwest
  • June 1994 Performance Circle exercises option to buy The Meadow
  • July 1994 Performance Circle starts fund-raising for the purchase
  • September 30, 1994 Performance Circle becomes official owner
  • 2008 purchased by ‘Ohana Harbor Coffee
  • 2011 ‘Ohana Harbor Coffee starts construction on their corporate headquarters now housed on the property

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Emmett Hunt's Diary Wednesday November 15, 1882

Wednesday November 15, 1882:  Nice day.  Jump into the little boat go across to the Weston's & walk to town where we rush around while there skip back make a couple of stops hence get in quite late.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.