We packed up this morning, went to the post office and no mail. We saw that it was at the distribution center about midnight last night. Since it was only about 50 miles away, JC thought for sure it would be in Chimacum this morning.
JC is over his little bout of food poisoning, so we took the opportunity to tour Port Townsend and Fort Warden. There is so much to see on the Olympic Peninsula. We visited a very large store of antiques that also had a museum of light fixtures from around the world and dating back as far as electric lighting was invented. The store had special LED light bulbs designed for the delicate sconces, chandeliers and tiffany style lamps. Even fluorescent. Very interesting. Nothing we could use in the coach though. The store was called Vintage Electric & Lighting.
We walked the downtown and uptown areas of Port Townsend. These two areas came into being because the downtown was where all the bars and brothels were located. The uptown was developed for the delicate sensibilities of the upper crust. The natural cliffs made a natural demarcation between uptown and downtown.
The town had it's hay day until the 1890's. The dream was for Port Townsend to become the biggest shipping port and a major city. The depression hit, the plans and needed funds for rail lines disappeared. The needed railroad ended on the east side of the Puget Sound. Without any other commerce, Port Townsend went through a 100 year decline. No new business meant no new building leaving the Victorian buildings intact. The population dwindled but appreciation for the town remained intact.
Port Townsend is one of three seaports on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the port is renown for it's wooden boat works, artists, music and holds its own film festival.
There are very few empty businesses. This is a very thriving community in spite of today struggling economy. The few business owners we talked with said business is slower but far from dead. Things are a little on the expensive side. Especially the restaurants. But, in every case the food was excellent.
We visited nearby Fort Worden which is now a state park. The original officers quarters and barracks are still standing and inhabited. The officers quarters are available for rent. There are many businesses, schools, a hostel and conference facilities. There is also a campground with full hookups. The sites are all quite generous in size with views of the Puget sound and the beautiful beach. We will be checking that out the next time we visit. The office was closed by the time we got to the park.
We had a really nice sunshiny day. Kind of glad the mail didn't show up.