Gig Harbor’s interactive museum

On September 18, the interactive Harbor History Musuem in Gig Harbor opened its doors for the time in its new building.  The museum, which had closed in 2008, is now housed in a much larger 15,000 square foot building.  A capital campaign launched in 2005 raised $11.6 million dollars for the construction of the building, with most donations coming from the community.

“We look forward to welcoming our neighbors and extended community to the new museum,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Harbor History Museum’s executive director.  “We’re excited about sharing Gig Harbor’s rich heritage at this beautiful new space, through compelling displays and interactive exhibits.”  At the museum, visitors can see an actual part of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, learn about historical figures such as a teacher and a fisherman, and raise and lower a mast.  A 65-foot fishing vessel called the Shenandoah will be restored in public view, allowing repeat visitors to see the boat changing over time.  A special exhibition, Stars and Stripes, presents 5,000 flags and flag-related items belonging to Kit Hinrich, a graphic designer.

According to the museum’s website, one of its missions is to “create opportunities to experience the history of the Gig Harbor Peninsula.”  The museum created such opportunities by offering free admission to the public on the day of its grand reopening, a day of festivities and giveaways.  Visitors could play games, view basket weaving demonstrations, or participate in art activities.

“Since I am new to the area, I don’t know much about Gig Harbor’s history.  I would find visiting this museum a great experience,” said Katrina Eller, a freshman at UPS.  For many in the community, including Puget Sound students, the newly reopened Harbor History Museum promises to be a valuable resource for education about Gig Harbor.

The museum is located on Harborview Drive in Gig Harbor.  Admission is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for youths ages 7-17, free for children 6 and under, and $5 for military and seniors ages 65 and up.  The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and is closed on major holidays.