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


First Friday Lecture: Lighthouse Poetry

Glynda Peterson Schaad will present “The Art & Poetry of May Macleod Pitt” for the First Friday Lecture on September 1 at 7:00 p.m. in Port Townsend’s historic City Hall at 540 Water Street.

May Macleod Pitt, her husband, and children were lighthouse keepers on Destruction Island in the early 1900s.  The idea of living year round on a rugged, isolated, Washington coast island drew Schaad and her co-writer and brother, Gary Peterson, to start researching Pitt’s life.  Their search was further stimulated by the discovery of Pitt’s poetry, which was shown to them by Pitt’s granddaughter. 

Schaad and Peterson are well suited to research Pitt’s life.  They’ve written about many historic Olympic Peninsula women, including their grandmother Minnie Peterson, a well-known guide, outfitter, and packer who led trips into the high Olympic Mountains wilderness.  Her story is told in High Divide: Minnie Peterson’s Olympic Mountain Adventures (The Early Years 1915-1962).

Describing her connection to the Olympic Peninsula, Schaad said, “Obviously, the roots are deep.  I’m a fifth generation descendent of Washington Territory.  My dad, Oscar, and my mom, Wilma, are 95 and 92 respectively, and still live on the family farm in Forks.”  Gary Peterson lives on Minnie’s homestead.

Women to Reckon With was published in 2007 but Schaad and Peterson continue to find interesting stories.  May Macleod Pitt’s is one of them.  Her story will be included in the next volume of Women to Reckon With.  Schaad’s First Friday Lecture will include Pitt’s life story and a reading of some of her poetry. 


Cabinet of Curiosities Open

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" opened on Friday, June 30.



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 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.