Information about the Lincoln School

Lincoln School Post Card

A VIDEO about
First Night 2016

Saving Stories

A short film about the Jefferson County Historical Society

Jefferson Art & History Museum
Open daily
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Research Center
Open Tuesday - Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Rothschild House Museum
Open daily
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
Commanding Officer's Quarters Museum
Open daily
Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitors Center
Open daily
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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History Cruise

Details and Reservations for the
2017 Epicurean Cruise

Wearable Art
Brings Color to Jefferson Museum

The increasingly dark days of autumn will be brightened by the Wearable Art Exhibit at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History. The exhibit opens October 6, featuring pieces from Wearable Art Shows from 2011 to the present.

The Wearable Art Show was started by Debbi Steele, founder and past chairperson of the Jefferson County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, as a fundraiser for that organization. Steele lived in Ketchikan, Alaska before moving to Port Townsend, where there is a very successful Wearable Art Show.

Sculptor Margie McDonald has been part of the Wearable Art Show since the very first show as an artist and as artistic director for the last two.

Drawings for Wearable Art PieceWhen the wearable art pieces move from the runway to the museum they’ll transition from costumes on living models to works that will no longer have motion - but there are compensations. “You get to look up close and see the quality and the things that are used. Things are well made in this show,” said McDonald. Visitors will also see sketches and swatches that are submitted for entry into this juried show.

“There’s a lot of thought put into these pieces. I think showing some of the process and skills involved in creating a piece is really important,” said exhibit designer Becky Schurmann for the Jefferson County Historical Society. Wearable Art Dress





One of the challenges in staging the exhibit was making forms that would show all the features of each piece. There were wings to be extended, very heavy costumes to be supported, and elaborate head pieces to be displayed. Schurmann created 20 manikins to support this sampling of work from the past seven wearable art shows.

Olympic Hot Springs BrochureFirst Friday Lecture:
Olympic Hot Springs

Author Theresa Schoenfall will present the history of the Olympic Hot Springs at the First Friday Lecture on October 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Port Townsend’s City Council Chambers at 540 Water Street.

Now a popular hiking destination, in the 1920s the Olympic Hot Springs was a resort with a lodge, furnished cabins, and a swimming pool.  Originally discovered in 1892 by Andrew Jacobsen, the site was stumbled upon by Billy Everett, “Slim” Farrell, and Charlie Anderson in 1907 when they were on a hunting trip. 

The men began to develop the site, which opened to the public in 1909 with Everett as the proprietor.  The resort was popular and thrived.  In 1940, the Olympic National Park annexed the hot springs.  After a heavy snowfall collapsed most of the buildings’ roofs, the resort was closed and the remaining buildings raised in 1966.  All that remains are seven pools that are just a foot deep.

Schoenfall has an insider’s view of the history of the hot springs; her family owned and operated the Olympic Hot Springs resort for 60 years.  Her book, The Olympic Hot Springs, is available through Arcadia Publishing.

Cabinet of Curiosities

Mastodon bones, bustle parts, a still, extremely disconcerting medical implements, birds frozen in time, and the stories behind them... It's weird and it's wonderful. "Cabinet of Curiosities" opened on Friday, June 30.

Cabinet of Curiosities Post Card

Simpson Exhibt Postcard

Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors & Patrons

“Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors and Patrons,” opened March 24. The exhibit features artists who benefited from the encouragement and support of these long-time Port Townsend citizens.

Many pieces are from the Simpson’s collection, which are mostly from the mid-80s. Works of the some of the same artists from later in their careers are also featured. “By showing some of their more contemporary work we get a little bit of a survey of those artists and how their work has progressed,” said curator Ann Welch.

Artist's featured are Tom Wilson, Jo Ann Alber, Kate Jenks, Anne Hirondelle, Stephanie Lutgring, Stephen Yates, Linda Okazaki, Galen Garwood, and Ed Cain. Stephen Yates created a large painting, Navigator’s Strategy, specifically for the exhibit.

Pat and Peter Simpson were known for many things, Pat for her work at Centrum and running and Peter as the director of Port Townsend Film Festival, his writing, and his work at Community Action. Unless you’d been to their home, or were an artist, you may not have known that they were also serious art collectors.

The Simpsons donated the bulk of their collection to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Their son David loaned the family portraits to the museum for this exhibit.

“One of the things I discovered was that they had their hands and minds and hearts in almost every major organization, and minor organization, that was going on in Port Townsend. Over the years I think they left a big imprint on Port Townsend. If we could imagine what it would have been like here without them, the town would have been quite different,” said Coney.

Historic House Museums
Open Through September

Port Townsend’s two historic house museums will be open through September. The Rothschild House and the Commanding Officer’s Quarters are both owned by Washington State Parks and managed by the Jefferson County Historical Society.

The Commanding Officer’s Quarters at Fort Worden was home to more than 25 commanding officers and their families from 1904, when it was built, until 1953. It's perched above the bluff at the end of Officers’ Row and was restored in the late 1970s and opened as a museum in 1982.

The Commanding Officer’s Quarters is open daily from 12:00 to 5:00.

The Rothschild House Museum, on the corner of Franklin and Taylor Streets, was built in 1868 and is furnished with the original contents once owned by the Rothschild family. It is open daily from 11:00 to 4:00.

Admission to either location is $6, a pass for both locations is $8.00. Admission is free for JCHS members.