Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Introduction to Port Townsend

It had been many years--actually, many, many, many years--since I had seen cousin David, but when I learned he was living in Port Townsend, Washington, we added PT to our itinerary.

Although he was not comfortable with the title, I would call him a Renaissance Man. He had been living off the grid on a rectangle-shaped, half acre of land for the last 15 years. Even though his main living quarters are surrounded by woods,
his rooftop photovoltaic panels have generated enough power for basic needs.
Also, during that time, he had built usable small cabins to serve as sleeping quarters, office, kitchen, Solarium, garage, tool shed, barn, and Tango dance space.
The red cottage way in the background is a guest cottage.
He had fenced in two areas to be gardens (shown in the foreground below) secure from deer.
Because of my attraction to anything potato, I was impressed with his potato harvest last year--150 pounds! He does some canning, grinds grain for the bread he bakes, and pickles shallots. Shown in the photo below is this year's crop of amaranth.
David has spent extended periods of time in Mexico, The Netherlands, and Argentina and has traveled in Europe. I would add World Traveler to the title Renaissance Man.

After a tour of the property and some stories about his projects, David gave us a tour of Port Townsend.
Shipyard scene
Ferry to Whidbey Island
Library, built in 1913 in part with a grant from the Carnegie Library Foundation
I.O.O.F. Building, 1887
Aldrich's Grocery, 1889; entirely re-built after a fire, 2005
Street Scene

When we reached the downtown area, we parked and began a walking tour, beginning with the Bishop Victorian Hotel.
William Bishop, a British sailor who jumped ship in 1853 to homestead in the Chimacum Valley, became a leading builder in Port Townsend. He and architect Charles Packard built this commercial structure in 1891. Since then it has been home to a cigar store, tavern, garage and furniture store.
The interior reflects the Victorian period, with antique furniture and glass, paintings and flowers.

Our walking tour of historic downtown Port Townsend had just begun.

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