Gig Harbor, Washington
The Maritime City, The Harbor
|• Type||Strong Mayor|
|• Mayor||Tracie Markley|
|• Total||6.12 sq mi (15.85 km2)|
|• Land||5.90 sq mi (15.29 km2)|
|• Water||0.22 sq mi (0.56 km2)|
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|• Density||1,815.83/sq mi (701.05/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
98329, 98332, 98335
|GNIS feature ID||1512239|
Gig Harbor bills itself as "the Maritime City" and maintains a strong connection to its maritime heritage. Due to its close access to several state and city parks, and historic waterfront that includes boutiques and fine dining, it has become a popular tourist destination. Gig Harbor is located along State Route 16, about 6 mi (10 km) from its origin at Interstate 5, over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
The S'Homamish or Homamish (Lushootseed: sxʷəbabš), an ancestral band of the modern-day Puyallup people, have inhabited Gig Harbor, known in Lushootseed as txʷaalqəɬ, meaning "place where game exists" for millennia. There was a Puyallup settlement at the mouth of the harbor that included six houses, and a large longhouse. This village existed until the late 19th century, with the longhouse finally being torn down by settlers in 1915. The band was later relocated to the Puyallup Indian Reservation.
During a heavy storm in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes brought the captain's gig (small boat) into the harbor for protection. Later, with the publication of Wilkes' 1841 map of the Oregon Territory, the sheltered bay was named in English as Gig Harbor by George Sinclair for his boat.
In 1867, fisherman Samuel Jerisich came to the Gig Harbor area, along with many other immigrants from Sweden, Norway, and Croatia. The town was platted in 1888 by Alfred M. Burnham, the owner of a local general store and native of Albert Lea, Minnesota, where he advertised opportunities in Gig Harbor.
Commercial fishing, boat building, and logging dominated the economy of the Gig Harbor area, which developed two business districts in the 1920s on opposite sides of the harbor. Transportation between Gig Harbor and Tacoma was primarily handled by the "Mosquito fleet", a network of mostly-passenger steamships that traversed various points on Puget Sound. Automobiles were required to drive 107 miles (172 km) through Olympia to reach Tacoma; the Washington Navigation Company later launched a Point Defiance–Gig Harbor ferry service in 1927 that could carry 80 vehicles. The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was completed in July 1940 to replace the ferry crossing, but collapsed a few months later. The ferry service was restored until the modern-day westbound bridge was completed in 1950. A third bridge opened in 2007 to carry eastbound traffic on the expanded State Route 16 freeway.
Gig Harbor was officially incorporated as a town on July 12, 1946, after a previous attempt in September 1945 was rejected by 13 votes. The town had 803 residents in 1950, but soon grew due to the ease of access afforded by the replacement bridge that turned Gig Harbor into a bedroom community for Tacoma workers. Gig Harbor was re-incorporated as a city in 1981. By the 1980s and 1990s, substantial residential and retail development had pushed the city's boundaries west to State Route 16, which had been upgraded to a partial freeway. The downtown area shifted towards tourism to compensate for lost business and attract new development. The city's historic boat building industry declined, but its facilities remain preserved as historic landmarks. A fleet of commercial fishing boats is based in Gig Harbor and make annual trips to Alaska for the summer season to harvest salmon.
In 1905, the Skansie brothers were the first in the area to build a gasoline-powered fishing boat. They did so at first by refitting boats with a gasoline-powered engine. Usually the motors were quite small, between 6 and 8 horsepower; the Skansie brothers originally used a 7-horsepower engine. Although these were powerboats, neither masts nor a turntable to hoist in the nets were used. This work was all done by hand. However, with the introduction of a motor, the boats were not able to go as far as Alaska. Skansie shipyards built fishing vessels from the late 1910s to the early 1950s.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Gig Harbor has a marine west coast climate: Warm and dry summers, transitional springs and autumns, and cool and wet winters, with occasional snow. The annual high and low temperatures of Gig Harbor are 59.3 °F (15.2 °C) and 44.8 °F (7.1 °C), respectively, making for an average of 52.05 °F (11.14 °C).
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, 7,126 people, 3,291 households, and 1,937 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,197.6 inhabitants per square mile (462.4/km2). The 3,560 housing units averaged 598.3 per square mile (231.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.2% White, 1.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.8% of the population.
Of the 3,291 households, 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.1% were not families. About 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.69.
The median age in the city was 48.1 years; 18% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were 18 to 24; 21% were 25 to 44; 29% were 45 to 64; and 25% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46% male and 54% female.
As of the census of 2000, 6,465 people, 2,880 households, and 1,765 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,485.2 people per square mile (573.8/km2). The 3,085 housing units averaged 708.7 per square mile (273.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 1.1% African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 3.0% of the population.
Of the 2,880 households, 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were not families. Around 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.75.
In the city, the population was distributed as 20.3% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 23.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $43,456, and for a family was $57,587. Males had a median income of $46,250 versus $28,487 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,318. About 3.5% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under the age of 18 and 4.1% of those ages 65 or older.
At the state level, Gig Harbor is part of the 26th legislative district, which encompasses all of peninsular Pierce County and southeastern Kitsap County, including Bremerton and Port Orchard. It is represented in the Washington State Legislature by senator Emily Randall and representatives Spencer Hutchins and Michelle Caldier. At the federal level, Gig Harbor is part of the 6th congressional district and is represented by representative Derek Kilmer.
The Peninsula School District is the district covering the city of Gig Harbor and the peninsula. It has three high schools: Gig Harbor High School, Peninsula High School, and Henderson Bay Alternative High School. Tacoma Community College opened a satellite campus in Gig Harbor in 1992, and also operates a branch serving Washington Corrections Center for Women, also in Gig Harbor.
- Christophe Bisciglia, founder of Cloudera
- Marian Call, singer-songwriter
- Jini Dellaccio, photographer
- Jay Faerber, illustrated book writer[better source needed]
- Freddie Goodwin, former Manchester United soccer player and alumnus of the Busby Babes
- Tally Hall, soccer goalie
- Nevin Harrison, American sprint canoeist trained with the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team.
- Scott Hatteberg, baseball player, played by Chris Pratt in Moneyball
- Doris Brown Heritage, athlete
- Kevin Johnson, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Starbucks
- Casey Kasem, actor, television and radio voiceover (lived in Gig Harbor until his death in 2014)
- Josh Lucas, actor
- Bob Mortimer, evangelist
- Onision, YouTuber, lived in Gig Harbor
- Cory Procter, former NFL football player
- Kenneth Pinyan, deceased former Boeing engineer and horse aficionado, also known as "Mr. Hands"
- Christopher Rufo, conservative activist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NFL football player
- Paul Skansi, NFL football player
- Kyle Stanley, professional golfer
- Keith Weller, former soccer player
- Charles W. Johnson, jurist and Associate Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
- Howard McLeod, medical scientist
- Dave Krusen, drummer, Rock Hall of Fame member
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- "2020 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 16, 2022.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "City of Gig Harbor Geographic Maps".
- Hutchinson, Chase (March 1, 2021). "Estuary has new name, honoring tribe; you'll need to watch a video to pronounce it". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 25, 2023.
- Kershner, Jim (December 29, 2012). "Gig Harbor — Thumbnail History". HistoryLink. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- "Crossing the Narrows: Idea & dream, prehistory to 1937". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- Majors, Harry M. (1975). Exploring Washington. Van Winkle Publishing Co. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-918664-00-6.
- Chase, Katie (October 24, 2016). "Skansie Shipbuilding Company of Gig Harbor launches the new ferry Defiance on January 16, 1927". HistoryLink. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- "Tacoma Narrows Bridge". Archived from the original on April 7, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- Webster, Kerry (September 23, 2021). "Record Alaska salmon catches buoy Gig Harbor fishing fleet with 'best season' in years". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- "Skansie Shipbuilding Company (Gig Harbor)".
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 20, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- "Climate Gig Harbor - Washington".
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- Adopted Legislative District 26 (PDF) (Map). Washington State Redistricting Commission. February 2022. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- "All Members, Districts, and Counties". Washington State Legislature. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- Brunner, Jim (July 31, 2020). "Facing progressive challenger, Rep. Derek Kilmer spends big ahead of Aug. 4 primary". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
- "Schools – Peninsula School District". Peninsula School District. Retrieved May 2, 2023.
- Webster, Kerry (September 11, 2019). "New dean at TCC Gig Harbor started her education there". The News Tribune. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- Gross, Ashley (December 16, 2019). "Washington experiments with giving women in prison limited access to the internet". KNKX. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- "JAY FAERBER'S BLOG". jayfaerber.blogspot.com.
- Marshall, Adam; Bostock, Adam (February 22, 2016). "Former Manchester United player Freddie Goodwin passes away". manutd.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2016.
- Vertuno, Jim (July 4, 2021). "Teen from Gig Harbor canoe club headed to Toyko". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
- Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (June 18, 2021). "How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 19, 2021.