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About Jefferson County

Jefferson County is located in northwest Washington State on the Olympic Peninsula. Port Townsend, the only incorporated city in Jefferson County, is the county seat.

Jefferson County was established in 1852 at which time it covered all of the Olympic Peninsula. In 1854, Clallam County was carved out of the northwestern part of Jefferson County.

An excellent thumbnail history of the county and several of its communities is available at HistoryLink.org.

Jefferson County can be thought of as two geographically distinct areas, separated by the Olympic Mountains, the Olympic National Park and the Olympic National Forest. East Jefferson County, which borders on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet and Hood Canal, was settled as early as 1851. Settlement of West Jefferson County on the Pacific Ocean began before 1895. It is a 2½ to 3 hour drive from Port Townsend to the West End, going around the remote Olympic Mountains through Clallam County.