The Ghost Town of Port Crescent

Port Crescent’s prosperity and future, like so many others on the Olympic Peninsula, was depended on the placement of the tidal exodus of the railroad terminus rumored to built on the peninsula.

Port Crescent - Now and Then

I’ve been coming up to camp and explore in the area west of Port Angeles for over thirty years and I still am finding new things every time. An area that’s popular with surfers and where I’ve launched my kayak is Crescent Bay. It’s a long stretch of moon shape beach. A county park bookends the east side with private property on the west side. In the middle is an old cemetery which is all that’s left of the once-thriving community of Port Crescent.

Port Crescent was first envisioned as a deep-water harbor for ocean-going vessels, particularly for timber cruisers for the loading of logs to be shipped to foreign ports. There was news of railroads building northwest from Tacoma into the Olympic Peninsula, which fanned rumors of a coming boom for the area.

A promotion company was formed in 1892 and laid out an ambitious townsite consisting of 20,000 lots on 166 blocks in a neat rectangular pattern. The town had two saloons, the Markham House, a modern hotel at the time, the Port Crescent Hotel, stores and all the amenities of a frontier town. The town had a few more ups and downs during the early 1900s until the late 1920s.

The hoped-for railhead never appeared and when the highway was placed south of the community all the residents eventually moved toward the commerce. Once abandoned the Army razed the town during WWII as part of its coastal defense system against invasion.

The old cemetery is all that is left, but it’s worth a visit. Some of the graves are dated back to the mid-1800s before Washington was granted statehood.

Wild and scenic rivers

wild and scenic rivers project a huge success

As a team, we more than tripled the amount of data to date. We’ve received 573 completed surveys from 91 rivers this year, compared to 183 surveys from 41 rivers in 2020.

We’re proud to have been a part of this effort! We’re working on articles and videos so stay tuned. 

Lake Crescent - North Shore

Another wonderful area to explore is Lake Crescent which is nestled in the Olympic National Park. This area is full of waterfalls, old forests, and enough trails to get truly immersed in all of the above.

One of our favorite places to visit is the old Spruce Railroad trail which runs along the north shore of the lake. As I write this there is a notice on the Park’s website about the closure of the trail from March 2020 through November 2020 for maintenance.

Port Crescent’s prosperity and future, like so many others on the Olympic Peninsula, was depended on the placement of the tidal exodus of the railroad terminus rumored to built on the peninsula.

Member of the following

We are the learned society for geography and geographers.
as-seal-gr
Working to provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to make a difference as they play in the outdoors.
coasst-logo
Working to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions.
Sea Grant Washington
Provide integrated research, communication, and education to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s oceans.

twitter feed

Follow the team’s latest news and social feeds here. You’ll also find links to articles on the latest developments regarding citizen-science and the conservation of our oceans. 

We also use this feed for updates from the field as we pursue our own science and the occasional short video clip.

And please, feel free to join in the conversation. We’d love to hear what you’re up to as well. 

Latest Instagram

Enjoying a bit of warmth on a cold clear winter's evening on the Olympic Coast. We don't get many days like this in the winter. ...

Setting up camp at Toleak Beach on the Washington coast. We took advantage of the clear but cold winter weather and hiked in the day before our #COASST bird survey. ...

Snug Harbor Cannery on the southern half of Chisik Island. I spent a few years guiding out of the Alaskan treasure. ...

Just published our latest adventure - Hit and Run at Bear Creek - You can find the link in my bio up top. ...

At the mouth of the Columbia River stands the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. Still active, she’s been guiding mariners since 1856. ...

A multitude of grey defines Lake Crescent during our latest #COASST survey. ...

The old Navy torpedo warehouse located on the grounds of Washington’s Manchester State Park. ...

While out dodging the rain showers, came across this beautiful Amanita muscaria near camp. The cap was a big as a dinner plate! ...

During our recent science trip to Suiattle River for the Wild and Scenic River Project, we were treated to these wonderful views. Here we're enjoying the winter's day with Mt. Baker in the background. ...

Our collection site for the Wild and Scenic River project. We grabbed river samples as well as tested ph, dissolved O2 and other data points. Turned out to be a great day in the field. ...

Heading out to start the Winter series of collection for the Wild and Scenic River project for Adventure Scientist. ...

These Nootka Rose caught my eye in camp this morning. Sitting here enjoying the fire listening to the geese overhead as they fly south. ...

Bear Canyon just outside Morton Washington is a little pocket of pristine wilderness. ...

Theresa doing her best to imitate the North Head Lighthouse. ...

A bridge span over the Green River. I love the contrast between the texture of the bridge and the fall colors of the background. ...

Here's a sunset from our recent #COASST bird survey at First Beach. The next day it poured rain. I measured over two inches just that afternoon. ...

We’ve hiked the trail from its east end many times, but have never had the time to explore the trail from end to end. That changed this time due to brining along our Rad Power Bikes. I love the range and mobility that these bikes give us and this was trail played to their strengths. We were able to explore the trail’s west end which as a real treat. I’d highly recommend a visit if you’ve never had the chance.

Please share this:

More to explore

Puntarenas Lighthouse
Journal

Costa Rica: Puntarenas

The only thing keeping my eyes open as we descend below the cloud deck was the site of San Jose nestled in a deep green valley.

Read More »

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.