A more historical Gateway opens at key highway entrance to Peninsula

PORT LUDLOW — New historical displays at the Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitor Center, the first North Olympic Peninsula visitor center west of the Hood Canal Bridge, opened on Saturday morning.

Liz O’Brien, who works at the center at the intersection of state highways 104 and 19, said that by noon the newly renovated building had welcomed over 150 people before noon.

“Everyone thought the new exhibits really added to the place,” O’Brien said.

“They said it brought a whole new ambiance to the building.”

The exhibits, provided by the Jefferson County Historical Society, are intended to represent all of Jefferson County.

They explore the history of the farming, fishing and timber industries in the county.

Also included are exhibits examining the culture of local Native American tribes and the construction of the Olympic Highway Loop.

“We’ll try to educate people more about what they will find in Jefferson County, and display artifacts and exhibits,” said  Bill Tennent, historical society director, has said.

The project, which began in February with money from the county, added a small museum area in a corner of the center.

The building has been at the corner near the junction of state highways 104 and 19 since the early 1990s, and operated by the historical society.

With the museum designation, the state Department of Transportation will allow better signage on busy state Highway 104, which project directors believe will attract more visitors to the center, the county, and the rest of the North Olympic Peninsula.

For more information, phone the center at 360-437-0120.

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