Gig Harbor is steeped in maritime history with boat building and commercial fishing playing a major role in the development of the area. But Gig Harbor was more - an agricultural center, logging and lumber area and Native American fishing grounds.
Throughout our region we cherish and preserve much of this history for our residents and our visitors to remember and enjoy!
The greater Gig Harbor Peninsula is home to other museums and historical sites listed here (in left column).
In the heart of downtown Gig Harbor is the Harbor History Museum. It offers 7,000 square feet of permanent galleries showcasing the rich, unique heritage of the Gig Harbor Peninsula. Unique artifacts, video kiosks, hands-on exhibits, computer interactives, and a small theater bring Peninsula history to life in our permanent galleries.
The Annelise and Warder Stoaks Permanent Gallery
The permanent exhibit showcases the rich, unique heritage of the Gig Harbor Peninsula through artifacts, photos, personal stories and hands-on interactives. Exhibits focus on south sound Native Americans, area settlers, water transportation, early industries, commercial fishing, the three Narrows Bridges, and the growth of the Peninsula.
The Jim and Carolyn Milgard Maritime Gallery
Our rich maritime and boat-building heritage is showcased by the 65-foot fishing vessel Shenandoah and the Thunderbird Hull #1 sailboat on display in the majestic Maritime Gallery. With active restoration of the Shenandoah taking place in public view, this gallery promises a new experience each time you visit.
The Rev. Charles F. Schreiner Showcase Gallery
Younger visitors can get their hands-on history fix in this fun, interactive gallery featuring a large magnetic mural and other activities aimed at children 10 and under.
This gallery presents the story of the Gig Harbor Peninsula's first residents - the Gig Harbor Band of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The gallery features baskets and implements from the museum's collection.
Located on site, the 1893 Midway School celebrates early education on the Peninsula and serves as both an exhibit gallery and classroom for visiting school groups.
Current Special Exhibition:
April 19 - July 20, 2014
Water's Extreme Journey
Become a Raindrop, Change Your World...Developed with world-renowned marine life artist Wyland, Water's Extreme Journey takes visitors on an exciting and important adventure quest for clean water. Visitors experience the watershed as a water drop, exploring first-hand the science behind the water cycle. But it's not all wet and wild - through powerful interactives and local messaging, visitors will realize that even their daily decisions can immediately improve the watershed in their own backyard.
Water's Extreme Journey transforms the visitor into a drop of water entering a watershed, an area of land where water drains and collects into a shared reservoir. As visitors will discover, a watershed can be right in their own neighborhood, or as big as the Rocky Mountain region! To explore the exhibition watershed, visitors voyage through rivers, lakes, wetlands, and even their homes, eventually reaching the healthy ocean. Sound easy? Water drops face many hurdles as they interact with humans. Does the farm they encounter use pesticides? Did someone get messy changing their oil, or flush prescription drugs down the toilet? Clean choices keep our drops healthy and moving toward a clean ocean. Dirty choices send our drops down the urban storm drain to the unhealthy ocean, where they evaporate, condensate, and precipitate for another try