Preserving Gig Harbor's History  for the community




There are stories here...
 

Six generations of Fishermen … farmers, boat builders, loggers and merchants – Their stories circulate the community of Gig Harbor, Washington like that great “catch,” just waiting to be told.  Tales of taming a rugged landscape, mastering unforgiving tides, the creation of a renowned fishing fleet and the birth of a self-sufficient town built brick by brick, timber by timber, through the sheer grit and simple pleasures of pioneering life -- These memories, passed from generation to generation, echo here today, where many of our founding families still maintain the traditions, vocations, and civic commitments they established over a century ago.  Back then, an uncertain world brought waves of immigrants to the American frontier and an uncommon blend of people to the shores of Gig Harbor – first Croatians and Scandinavians, later Italians, British and Germans, as well as homesteaders from across the United States.  While culturally diverse, each group possessed an exceptional set of skills that together forged the foundations of a community uniquely able to meet the challenges of the Pacific Northwest.  read more...

 

In 2012, the Smithsonian Institute named Gig Harbor “one of the greatest small towns in America” … but this place is so much more.  Gig Harbor has an epic tale to tell, and we want to bring this story to light.  The Story-Catcher Project is dedicated to recording the Oral History of Gig Harbor, as told by generations of families who came and stayed to see their vision realized.  Their memories, first-hand experiences, recounted in their own words and by family and friends, speak the legacy of this town like no other voices can.

 

This website was created to get the conversation going.  It offers a loose framework and multiple points of entry for you to contribute your own essays and recollections to our collection of articles and interviews taken from the public record: stories about boats, founding families, specific vocations, and points of interest. Eventually a blog-spot will facilitate a live discussion of topics relevant to Gig Harbor History (What exactly is a ‘Slavonian’?,  Know your Net Sheds,  Who killed John Sather?).  There is also a Genealogy of all of those interred in Gig Harbor cemeteries (1800-1930, as well as those born before 1940 and buried here).  It’s cross-referenced with maiden names and includes military records, pioneering stories and notable obituaries you’ll find no where else.  While it is the single most comprehensive account of early Gig Harbor residents, it remains incomplete (as we understand that there are many people interred outside of the community).  Please accept our invitation to correct and elaborate the record.  Most importantly, The Story-Catcher Project is a call for participation.  We would like to interview surviving members of longstanding Gig Harbor families.  If you know someone who has been an integral part of this community, or has made a unique contribution to our town, please fill out a form on any of the pages and forward his or her contact information to us.  We’d like to post their stories here for all to enjoy.  We appreciate your assistance and welcome you to explore the unfolding story of Gig Harbor.


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