Victorian Heritage Festival this weekend

Customs House battle, beekeeping, fashion show, teas scheduled

PORT TOWNSEND — The annual Port Townsend Victorian Heritage Festival will feature presentations on the great Yukon Gold Rush, Victorian bee keeping and the battle for the Customs House as well as a variety of other activities this weekend.

Events are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Port Townsend.

For information and tickets, see the Port Townsend Victorian Heritage Festival website at

“This annual event has been a PT tradition since the mid-1990s,” said the Port Townsend Heritage Association in a press release.

“Port Townsend is one of only three historic Victorian Seaports in the United States,” the association said. “The Port Townsend Heritage Association is proud to continue this community tradition with three days of events, education and celebration.”


Special presentations will begin Friday evening with the historic dramatization of the fight between Port Townsend and Port Angeles for custody of the Customs House.

The former Customs House, now the U.S. Post Office building at 1322 Washington St., will be the setting for the dramatization at 5 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15.

In 1862, both cities were deeply invested in reaping the economic benefits of being the official port of entry for the region, and a tug of war between the two communities ensued, the association said. At one point, downtown Port Townsend was threatened with artillery fire from a ship in the bay.

Saturday will include a variety of presentations, including one on the Klondike Gold Rush, when Port Townsend became a transportation and shipping hub due to the thirst for gold in the Klondike region from 1896-1899.

The gold rush presentation will be at 10:45 a.m. in the American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St. Tickets are $10.

“When Bees Got Here on Boats” will be presented at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Legion hall for $10 admission.

A presentation on the 1891 SanbornPerris Map Co. maps at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Legion hall will explore the inventory done for the purposes of insurance ratings. The maps depict the many uses of buildings, such as boarding houses, laundries, saloons, stores and wharves.

Two free presentations are planned: One of the restoration of the Worthington Park Mansion, which will be at 12:15 p.m. Saturday at the Legion hall, and another at 10 a.m. Sunday, also at the Legion hall, on curating an exhibit of antique clothing.

Other events

In addition, the festival will offer multiple walking tours — both Uptown and downtown — afternoon teas, an open house tour and two festival mainstays, the Victorian fashion show and the community dance, both at the Legion hall on Saturday.

The fashion show will be at 3 p.m. Saturday with $20 tickets. It will be followed by a Victorian Promenade down Water Street at 4:30 p.m.; no ticket needed.

A Community Contra Dance is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Legion hall for $15.

Fundraiser teas for the Port Townsend Heritage Association are planned at the N.W. O’Rear House at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and at the Colonel Landes House at 1 p.m. Sunday. Each costs $100 for tickets.

The owners of the McCurdy House, at 405 Taylor St., will provide tours of the first floor of the 1868 Victorian Home at 405 Taylor St. Tickets are $10.

Partner events

Several places are partnering with the festival association on events.

They are:

• “If these Walls Could Talk,” which will be presented at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Franklin St. The free hour-long talk will trace 150 years of history as seen through the pews of the church.

• Manresa Castle will offer historical magic at 8 p.m. Saturday at the hotel at 651 Cleveland St. Tickets are $20.

• The Old Consulate Inn will host an afternoon tea at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets to the teas at the inn, at 313 Walker St., are $50. No one younger than 14 allowed. Advance reservations are required. Go to the festival website or

• District Fabrics will present a corsetry trunk show at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. The shows at the business at 634 Water St. are free.

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