History

Gig Harbor’s history is a rich tapestry of fishing boats, saw mills, farms, steamboats and ferries,  bridges, and people looking for opportunity. Gig Harbor got its name during the U.S. Exploring Expedition commanded by Lt. Charles Wilkes.  In 1841 two of the expedition’s ships, the Vincennes and the Porpoise, arrived in southern Puget Sound to chart the local waters and document the flora, fauna, and native inhabitants of the surrounding area.  read more…

Gig Harbor’s Commercial Fishing History –  More than 100 years ago Sam Jerisich, searching for fertile fishing grounds, became one of the first three white men to settle in Gig Harbor. Sam, a native of Kotor, Montenegro, settled in Gig Harbor with his wife Anna, an Indian from British Columbia, in 1867. They made his fishing nets by hand. Sam built a smokehouse to smoke the fish and a rendering plant to render dogfish oil. It was the beginning of Gig Harbor’s commercial fishing industry.  read more…

Historical Commercial Fishing Netsheds are an important architectural byproduct of the fishing industry.  As early as 1910, Gig Harbor’s first netsheds began appearing along the waterfront.  These simple structures, many constructed with rough, hand-hewn fir were used by local fishermen to store nets and fishing gear.  As the town grew, many netsheds disappeared; displaced by new development and commercial marinas.  Today, only 17 netsheds along the western shoreline remain, but Gig Harbor Bay still boasts the largest inventory of historic netsheds on the Puget Sound. read more…

Web Cam. Want to see what’s happening this minute? See the webcam on the Guide to Gig Harbor website…