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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New Exhibit Opening

Cabinet of Curiosities Post Card

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" opens on Friday, June 30. Members' reception and preview at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 29.

First Friday Lecture
Features Marrowstone Island History


Marrowstone Island historian Karen Russell with be the speaker at the First Friday Lecture at 7:00 p.m. on July 7. Russell is the author of Marrowstone, which she co-wrote with fellow islander Jeanne Bean.

The book began as a small project to discover the history of the Nordland Garden Club which Russell had joined after settling on the island in 1973 when her husband left the Navy.

“I was the program chairman and I thought it would be interesting to find out the history of the club because I was a new member to the community. I couldn’t find very much information on the island,” said Russell.

The lack of information available to Russell was overcome by interviewing charter members of the garden club. Because the club was founded was in 1937 many of the charter members were still very much alive and had interesting stories to tell. The history Russell compiled of the club was so well received that she decided to continue researching, assembling a short history of the island. Jeanne Bean, another island newcomer, volunteered to help with the project.

The short history kept growing as Russell and Bean searched courthouse records, conducted interviews, and looked through early editions of the Leader. Two and a half years later they published Marrowstone.

The book was published in 1978 but Russell is still gathering Marrowstone Island history. “You can’t help but research sometimes,” said Russell who continued to collect oral histories from the island.

Russell will reveal some of the stories of Marrowstone Island in her lecture on July 7 - stories of isolated women, fun festivals, the fight for the bridge, and even a murder. The lecture is at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History, 540 Water Street, Port Townsend. There is a $5.00 suggested donation.

Historic House Museums
Open for the Season

Port Townsend’s two historic house museums opened for the summer season on May 1. 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 spent the winter under wraps. The exterior of the COQ was was wrapped in white plastic to contain lead paint as it was removed during a renovation of the building's exterior.

The COQ 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 will be 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 will be 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.

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.