Groceries to suds: “The Tides” overflows with history by Barbara Felver, Gateway Staff
Wednesday, June 8, 1988 - Page 9A
Editors note: The following is the first of a two-part series on the history behind the building now recognized as simply “The Tides.” Here we follow the story up the late 1960s when one of the business’ most colorful and well-known owners came on the scene. The second part of the series next week will pick up the story from there.
Our Harbor History Museum blog is only reproducing the first part because we wish to place emphasis on Henry Allen, the father of Richard B. Allen and grandfather of Carolyn Allen and Kristine Allen. Although Henry did not live in Gig Harbor for a lengthy period of time he did make a substantial contribution to our community.
Just after the turn of the century, Axel Uddenberg built his second grocery store to set up his 16 year-old son Bert in business. The building quickly became a hub of community activity.
The Uddenbergs could not know that nearly 80 years later their building would house something of a latter-day landmark in Gig Harbor.
The walls they built now contain the Tides Tavern, a gathering place whose name springs to mind for many people at the mere mention of Gig Harbor.
This week Tides patrons will celebrate the tavern’s 15th year under its current ownership by Peter Stanley. They will gather to lift glasses in a room where, more than seven decades ago, groceries were lifted into wheelbarrows for delivery around town.
It seemed a good opportunity to look back not just 15 years, but to take a peek at how the little building has grown up with the town.
Gladys Para of the Peninsula Historical Society, and owner Stanley, helped collect pieces of the building’s long history.
Thank you, Teddy R.
The earliest recorded transaction on the property took place in September, 1904, when Samuel Jerisich received a certificate of homestead from the federal government for 166.5 acres. The certificate bore the name of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Jerisich’s widow, Anna, sold a portion of the homestead to Axel and Angeline Uddenberg in 1911.
Axel already had a thriving grocery business at the head of the harbor, near where Neville’s Shorline restaurant stands. He built a second store at the newly purchased site, and put his young son Bert in charge. The son-and-pop grocers ran adjacent competing advertisements in the news paper each week.
The business occupied two buildings: one towards the waterfront housing a hay and feed store, and the West Side Grocery in the area now occupied by the main indoor portion of the tavern. In the present deck area was a boat shed.
One of the three docks around the harbor, the public People’s Dock, ran alongside the property to the south. For many years the country-run ferry stopped there. Records show one of the property’s owners awarding the country an easement for public passage to the ferry landing, n the mid-20s. The dock provided Bert Uddenberg with a steady stream of customers and ready transit for goods and supplies.
Bert and his wife, Ebba, were married in 1917. The couple’s children, Shirley Knapp, Lola Kooley and Bert Jr., who now reside in Gig Harbor, have early childhood memories of their father delivering groceries by wheelbarrow and truck around town.
Kooley also remembered the day a Flivver, heading toward the dock, lost its brakes. Its two passengers yelled “Hold ‘er! Hold ‘er!” but could not prevent it from sending a farm fresh load of loganberries in every direction.
World War I broke out, and Bert went to war. In 1919 his father sold the store to Austin and Harriet Richardson. According to county records, the Richardsons kept the land until 1942. The businesses on it changed hands a couple times.
The first tavern
With the end of Prohibition, George and Sophie Magnuson took over and open the Ferry Tavern in the grocery building. Sophie ran the tavern, a favorite watering hole for locals and visitors by water.
Clinton and Margie Haury, a Seattle couple, bought the business from Sophie and the land from the Richardsons in 1942.
Clint Haury had started the first commercial herring business in the Puget Sound, and recently had discovered Gig Harbor to be an excellent source of supply. Margie Huary, now 83, recalled picking up the next day’ supply at the close of business each day, from the Huary’s’ dock inSeattle.
Daily operation of the store and tavern were entrusted for a while to family members. With the death of Clinton’s father, the most recent manager, he needed someone to manage the business.
Henry Allen was working at The Bon in Seattle. In June of ’43 he visited the area for his friend Clint. While here he cast in a couple lines, and brought up a couple salmon. The next morning he caught another. But it was Allen who was hooked.
“I decided I wanted to stay,” said spry Allen, who is 83 now. “I bought into the business.”
A month to the day from his visit, Allen and his wife, Juanita, bought a half-share in the operation which now included Haury’s Boathouse and the Ferry Tavern. The total cost of the property and businesses, shared by both families, was $2,500 to $3,000, he recalled.
Juanita ran the tavern; Henry managed the Gig Harbor end of the herring business, plus moorages. Herring sold for 25 cents a dozen. The Allen lived in an apartment located about where the women’s restroom is now.
The way they were
Allen thought back to the Gig Harbor of the early ’40s.
“in the time I was here, nothing changed,” he said. “Nobody moved out; nobody moved in. You could drive here to Arletta and maybe see a shack here and there… There was no law. No town marshall.”
Spirits had to be imbibed inside.
“We never made any money in the tavern,” he said. “We sold beer for 10 cents a glass, and a bottle for about 20 cents. Wine was about 20 cents for a six-ounce glass.”
Their biggest day — during Gig Harbor’s centennial celebration —- brought in less than $500.
After they had been here about a year, the Allen hired “Maddie” Hadkinson, a woman who lived across the harbor, to cook up a little sustenance. Allen built a kitchen. Other cooks followed Maddie.
The Huarys and Allen shared the operation for five years, although after four years Juanita Allen quit the tavern business she disliked. She returned to Seattle.
“We had guys come here and sit in the bar all day,” he explained. It was an unsavory atmosphere for his pretty young wife, who was quite an attraction there. In ’47 the Allen sold their interest to the Haurys.
“I finally sold it back to him because I had bought in cheap and he was a very honest businessman,” Allen noted. “I had a good time here; I would have stayed here …”
Allen retained other business dealings with Haury, both in Gig Harbor and Seattle. They shared the ownership of land near the spit, and in ’46 jointly purchased 1,200 feet of Seattle waterfront from Todd Shipyard— for $15,000 down.
Haury kept the tavern and herring business here until 1956, when he sold to Earl and Irma Robinson. Over the next decade, the tavern changed hands several times and was the subject to several legal disputes.
Then in 1969, a man who had been brought in to entertain the customers with his songs put $8,000 down on the business.
He called himself Three Fingered Jack.
I’m hoping to gather a far more detailed history of Henry and Juanita Allen and their family. As soon as it is available I shall naturally put another blog about the Allen on site. But, I hope you enjoyed the Peninsula Gateway article written in 1988.
But it jar people’s memories, I have also include the obituaries of Juanita Fay and Henry Eugene Allen because Henry’s also filled in many gaps about his life.
Juanita F. Allen
Services were held on June 27 (1983) for Bothell resident Juanita F. Allen. She was 75 years old when she died on June 23.
The homemaker was born in Marionville, Pa.
She is survived by Henry E. Allen of Bothell; sons, Robert G. Allen of Seattle and Richard B. Allen of Gig Harbor; sister, Gerald G. Reynolds of Everett; nephew, Jack Reynolds of Gig Harbor; granddaughters Carolyn Allen and Kristine Frisbie, both of Gig Harbor; and two great granddaughters.
Services were held at the Acacia Funeral Home in Bothell, with inurnment following in the Acacia Mausoleum.
Acacia Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Henry Eugene Allen
12/25/1904 - 8/16/2007
Henry was born on Christmas Day in Besamae, Texas. He was the son of a railroad engineer.
The family migrated west for employment opportunities. while he attended Queen Anne High School at 15, Henry worked at Piper & Taft Sporting Goods assembling bicycles alongside Eddie Bauer, a friend and frequent hunting and fishing partner. This marked the beginning of a long, successful career of merchandising sports equipment. For a brief time in the 40s, Henry and his family moved to Gig Harbor and owned and operated the Ferry Tavern, later to be renamed the Tides Tavern. Henry returned to Seattle to be the regional buyer and also the manager of the sporting goods department at the flagship downtown Seattle Frederick & Nelson Department Store in 1950. Upon retirement in 1964, he moved with his wife Juanita to Okanogan County, where they owned and operated Spectacle Falls Resort until his second retirement in 1976.
Hunting and fishing were his passions. As recently stated by Henry. “Life isn’t worth living if you can’t hunt and fish.” Henry made his last fishing trip at the age of 101. Henry was recently recognized at the Pogie Club, an outdoorsman organization in Seattle, at its 75th anniversary celebration, as the longest-living charter member. Henry continued to live independently until just recently.
Henry is survived by his son Dick (Elsie), his granddaughters Kristine Allen and Carolyn Dupille, and his four great-children Kate Burnham, Molly Frisbie, Rodney Dupille, and Mallory Dupille. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Juanita, his son Bob, and his brother Bert.
When others asked Henry his secret to longevity, he would respond. “I only worry about the things I can do something about.” Henry was a positive man with a love of life. He filled his life with his family and friends.
The family would like to thank Dr. Paul Schneider and the staff of Cottesmore for their wonderful care and compassion.
At Henry’s request, no services were held.
Ref: The Peninsula Gateway© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.