Look back at the North Olympic Peninsula’s rich timber heritage in Sunday’s PDN

Gettysburg, Port Crescent, Port Discovery, Twin.

To most of us, they’re just names on recreational maps.

But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they — and other timber towns — were the North Olympic Peninsula.

Loggers from around the globe came here in search of big logs, big jobs and big fortunes.

Gettysburg, Port Crescent, Port Discovery, Port Ludlow and others boomed along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Hood Canal.

Each had large mills and was known for its big logs and access to shipping.

Port Discovery, located between the modern-day towns of Discovery Bay and Gardiner, was home to the first major mill on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Port Crescent, located on Crescent Bay north of Joyce, had two wharfs and fell just 389 votes short of being the county seat.

Port Ludlow’s big mill brought commerce, ship building and ferries to its protected bay south of Port Townsend.

And Gettysburg, located west of Crescent Bay, was home to a giant chute used to slide timber from the bluffs above town to the water’s edge of the Strait.

Technological changes allowed loggers to move inland and westward to even bigger trees.

Donkey engines, trains and trucks led to the development of new towns such as Twin and Reeveton.

In its heyday during World War I, Twin, mid-way between present-day Joyce and Pysht, was the largest logging camp in the world.

Reeveton, too, boomed with the railroad. It was home to mills, a post office and several homes.

Today, Reeveton is known as Agnew.

The trains that breathed life into Twin and Reeveton brought death to Port Crescent and Gettysburg — railroad tracks and roads passed the towns by.

“Timber 2002: Old Growth,” a special section of the Sunday Peninsula Daily News for June 23, examines the rise and fall of some of the vanished timber towns, camps and mills that helped shaped Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Numerous historical photographs and articles let readers examine and appreciate our community roots while gaining perspective on the North Olympic Peninsula’s future.

This section only appears in the Sunday PDN. It will not appear online.

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