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20th Century Jefferson County Chronology

The following 20th century dates and events in the history of Jefferson County are considered significant from the standpoint of the genealogist and family historian: Events were chosen, occasionally for whimsical reasons, because of their impact on the economy as well as population and migration.
This is work in progress, and subject to revision with further research


June 1902 Fort Worden declared Coastal Defense Headquarters.
1939 Point Hudson acquired by US Coast Guard for training recruits.
1940s Military activity increased at Fort Worden for World War II
June 1, 1953 Fort Worden closed.
1973 Fort Worden dedicated as a state Park.
Beginning of the Victoriana Era.

Human Endeavor

1907 First ascent of Mount Olympus (which lies in Jefferson County.)

Surface Transportation

October 10, 1914 First automobile arrival in Port Townsend over the Olympic Loop Highway.
October 18, 1914 First auto trip from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean.
1925 - 1933? The Port Townsend Branch of State Road No. 9 (Now US Highway 101) Olympic Highway was added to the state highway system (now State Highway #20.)
August 12. 1961 Hood Canal Bridge opened to traffic.
Feburary 13, 1979 Western half of Hood Canal Bridge sank in windstorm.
1979 Temporary Ferry service established between Edmonds and Port Townsend.
May 1981 Jefferson Transit began service.
October 24, 1982 Hood Canal Bridge reopened to traffic.
June 1984 Trains stopped running on the Seattle and North Coast Railroad.

Water Transportation

1925 Ferry slips installed on Union Wharf for auto ferry service to Seattle, Port Angeles, Victoria, and Keystone.
1953 Quincy Street Ferry Dock completed.
1996-1997 Union Wharf rebuilt.


1927 - 1929 Paper Mill constructed by Crown Zellerbach company.
1983 Paper mill purchased by Handl Papier of West Germany.
1997 Paper mill purchased by a Seattle-based investment firm.

Air Transportation

1931 US Army established emergency flying field at Station Prairie.
1946 Station Prairie Field came under local control.
1990s Runways paved at Jefferson County International Airport.

Public Health

1934 Quarantine station erected at Point Hudson.


1924 Port of Port Townsend established.
Early 1957 Fort Worden purchased by State of Washington for use as a juvenile diagnostic and treatment center.
1971 Juvenile center at Fort Worden closed.
early 1990s Jefferson County Commisioners held a formal meeting atop Mount Olympus.

Community Development

late 1960s Pope and Talbot began development of Port Ludlow.

Culture and Entertainment

1973 Centrum founded as a center for arts and creativity.
1982 Movie: An Officer and a Gentleman, filmed in Port Townsend.
1999 Portions of Snow Falling on Cedars filmed in Port Townsend.

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Maintained by Phil Kohl, Jefferson County coordinator.
Revised: 16 March 2008
Copyright © 2004-2017 Philip H. Kohl