A small little port town and fishing village on Puget Sound bay, just south/southwest of Seattle. Located in Pierce County Washington, this small town of just around 7200 residents, is a great stop for tourists headed west. They claim to be the “Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula”. It is located conveniently near various parks, hitoric waterfront, boutiques, and restaurants. It is located alog State Route 6 about six miles from I-5. The town was founded by fisherman Samuel Jerisich in 1867 and was an attracting area for other immigrants from Norway, Sweden, and Croatia. It was officially platted in 1888 by Alred M Burnham. It was incorporated on July 12, 1946. Its known for commercial fishing, logging, boat building, and tourism. By 1950 it became generally a suburb of Tacoma. Today there is very little industry here – and boat building is rarely done anymore here. It is very popular for commercial fishing. It was the first place in the area to build a gas-powered fishing boat, done so in 1905 by the Skansie brothers.
“Our First Sawmill … Settlers from Albert Lea, Minnesota, established Gig Harbor’s first sawmill, the Gig Harbor Lumber Company, near this spot on the waterfron in 1887. The sawmill cut as much as 100,000 board feet of lumber daily. Its 450 foot wharf could accommodate the boats, sometimes 15 sailing vessels and steamers at a time, that came to the harbor for lumber. Mill workers lived in rows of shanties up what is now Rosedale Street. The mill owners also engaged in boat building in a shipyard they created next to the mill. In 1888 they launched the steamer Albert Lea and in 1890 the schooner Vine. The early 1890s were hard times and the mill struggled. It was sold under foreclosure in 1891. It changed hands several more times before being purchased in 1899 and moved to Clear Lake along the Skagit River. The mill operated there for several years before burning down. This was not the end of the industry in Gig Harbor. Other mills would appear and logging would continue into the 1950s.” ~ information sign at Gig Harbor docks.