Location: Kitsap County, Washington
Kitsap County Timeline
The first residents of the land contained within what is now known as Kitsap County were called the Suquamish who spoke Salish. They were peaceful and got along well with new settlers to the area, but they all had to protect themselves against the raids from the northern Indian tribes of Vancouver Island. The Haidas and Cowichans would attack the Salish tribes for slaves.
- 1792: Capt. George Vancouver mapped the Puget Sound area and named many of its features including Port Orchard, Port Gamble, Hood Canal and Restoration Point
- 1825: Suquamish Chief Kitsap defeated the Haidas at Dungeness Spit
- 1841: U. S. Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes and the U. S. Exploring Expedition performed a detailed survey and named Bainbridge Island, Port Blakeley, Port Madison and Agate Point
- 1850: New settlers came to the Kitsap Peninsula in response to the great demand for lumber. The Mosquito Fleet of steamers serviced Puget Sound communities and tied Kitsap County to the rest of the state
- 1853: President Millard Fillmore established Washington Territory. George Meigs bought J. J. Felt's mill at Apple Tree Cove and moved it to Port Madison. Maine native W. C. Talbot founded a mill and community at the mouth of Port Gamble Bay, originally named Teekaleet, later called Port Gamble. It would become the oldest continuously operating sawmill in the United States, closing after 142 years in 1994. It is now a Historic Site
- 1854: Philadelphia sea captain William Renton, moved his mill from Alki Point across the sound to Port Orchard. The mill employed six white men and five Indians
- 1855: Washington Territorial Governor, Isaac Stevens, persuaded the tribes to sign the Point No Point and Point Elliott treaties in which they ceded their lands to the United States in exchange for reservations, fishing and hunting rights. The Suquamish, Duwamish of Seattle and Skekomish (Muckleshoot) were given the 7811 acre Port Madison Reservation
- 1856: Haida raiders from Vancouver Island attacked residents at Port Gamble Bay but were driven off by the sailors and marines of the USS Massachusetts. The following year, they murdered settler Isaac Ebey on Whidbey Island
- Jan. 16, 1857: Slaughter County was created by Washington Territory from King County, named after Lt. William Alloway Slaughter, who had been killed in 1855 in the Yakima War. Port Madison was the county seat
- Jul. 13, 1857: Renamed Kitsap County in honor of Chief Kitsap, leader of the Suquamish tribe, the county seat is Port Orchard
- 1861:Port Madison citizens formed the 70-man Port Madison Union Guards to aid Lincoln in the Civil War but the unit never saw service outside the territory
- 1862: William Renton sold the Port Orchard mill and built the Port Blakely Mill Co. on Blakely Harbor in 1864
- 1886: The U. S. government gave acreage to individual tribal members, many who sold their allotments to non-Indians which meant more than half the reservation passed out of Indian hands
- 1888: The mill at Port Blakely had a serious fire
- Nov. 11, 1889: Kitsap County was continued as a Washington county when the state of Washington was admitted to the Union.
- 1891: The U. S. Navy established the Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton
- 1892: The mill at Port Madison closed and the town became a ghost town
- 1893: The county seat was moved from Port Madison to Sidney, later renamed Port Orchard
- 1897: The U. S. Army built Port Flagler on Marrowstone Island and at Fort Ward, Middle Point, which became Manchester
- 1901: Bremerton elected its first mayor, Master Electrician Al Croston, who was employed at the shipyard
- 1907 The mill at Port Blakely had another serious fire. They rebuilt but eventually closed for good in 1923. Port Blakely became a virtual ghost town
- 1914: A torpedo testing station was established at Keyport
- 1938: The Klallam received their own reservation called the Port Gamble Reservation, located in north Kitsap; a refueling station was established at Manchester
- 1942: The U. S. government ordered all persons of Japanese descent, including American citizens, to be removed from the west coast, including 278 residents of Bainbridge Island, who were the first to be moved.
- 1977: A nuclear submarine base was established at Bangor on the Hood Canal
Kitsap County Plat Maps
- Kitsap County 1909; Anderson Map Co., Inc., 1909
- Kitsap County 1926; Metsker Maps, 1926
- Kitsap County 1940; Kroll Map Company, 1940
Kitsap County Territorial Towns
Chico – settled in 1886; a post office was established on February 25, 1889.
Colby– settled in 1884; a post office was established on November 13, 1884. This community still exists.
Dyes – a Post Office was established on June 4, 1884 but was discontinued on July 31, 1884. This community no longer exists.
Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island– settled in the 1860s; a post office was established on June 19, 1884 but discontinued on June 22, 1886. This settlement no longer exists.
Kingston - settled in 1874 and had a post office immediately established. This small town still exists with a post office and has an active ferry dock.
Mitchell – had a post office established on January 25, 1886. This small community no longer exists.
Nibbeville – had a post office established February 25, 1885 but the community no longer exists.
Olalla – settled in 1881; a post office was established on October 30, 1884. This small rural community still exists.
Port Blakeley located on Bainbridge Island – settled in 1856; a post office was established on February 22, 1867. This settlement no longer exists.
Port Madison Bainbridge Island – founded in 1854 by George Meigs; a post office was established on May 13, 1858. This was the original county seat from 1857-1893.
Port Orchard – settled in 1850s; a post office was established on March 1, 1860. The town died out after Captain Renton’s mill burned down and the business was moved to Bainbridge Island. The community is now called Enetai, which means “crossing” or “across” in Chinook jargon.
Poulsbo – settled in 1866; a post office was established on December 6, 1886.
Sackman – settled in 1880s; a post office was established on August 20, 1884. The small town is now called Tracyton and has a post office and a port commission.
Seabeck – settled in 1856; a post office was established on July 1, 1858. This small town still exists.
Sidney – settled in 1886; a post office was established on November 3, 1886. This town is now called Port Orchard.
Teekalet – settled in 1853 and now called Port Gamble. A post office was established on Dec. 2, 1857.
- Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
- Camp Major Hopkins aka Camp Yeomalt
- Charles F. Nelson House
- Chief Sealth Gravesite
- Point No Point Lightouse
- Port Gamble Historic District
- Fort Ward Historic District
Kitsap County Online Records
- Kitsap County Birth Records, 1891-1907
- Marriage License Application Affidavits, 1905-1986
- Marriage License Register, 1868-1890
- Marriage Records, 1860-2014
- Kitsap County Death Records, 1892-1907
- 1857 Kitsap County
- 1860 Kitsap Federal Census
- 1870 Kitsap Federal Census
- 1871 Kitsap County
- 1883 Kitsap County
- 1885 Kitsap County
- 1889 Kitsap County
- 1910 Kitsap Federal Census
- List of Kitsap County Newspapers
Kitsap County Books
From the Library of Alison Andrus who will do lookups.
- Other books
- History of the Puget Sound Country, Vol. 1 by William Farrand Prosser, pub. 1903
- History of the Puget Sound Country, Vol. 2 by William Farrand Prosser, pub. 1903
- Joan Carson, Tall Timber and The Tide (Poulsbo, WA: Kitsap Weeklies, , 1972) *Andrew Price Jr., Port Blakely: The Community Captain Renton Built, (Seattle: Port Blakely Books, 1989)
- W. B. Bowden, Port Madison 1854 (Bainbridge Island, WA: The Port Madison Press, 1977)
- Robert E. Ficken, Washington Territory (Pullman: WSU Press, 2002)
- "Klallam," "Suquamish," and "Washington State Tribes" in Native America in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia ed. by Mary B. Davis, (New York : Garland Pub., 1994)
- "Haida Raiders Kill Gustave Englebrecht, first U.S. Navy battle death in the Pacific at Port Gamble on November 21, 1856," (by David Wilma)
- "Triangle of Fire – The Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound," (by Daryl McClary)
- "Puget Sound Naval Shipyard,"(by Daryl McClary)
- "Remembering Walter Woodward (1910-2001)" (by Gerald Elfendahl)
- "Puget Sound’s Mosquito Fleet" (by Larry E. Johnson)
- Alan Stein, Safe Passage: The Birth of Washington State Ferries (Seattle: Washington State Ferries, 2001)
- Katy Warner, A History of Bainbridge Island (The Author: 1968)
- Kitsap: A Centennial History ed. by Fredi Perry (Bremerton: Kitsap County Centennial History Project, 1989)
- Kitsap County History: A Story of Kitsap County and Its Pioneers (Silverdale: Kitsap County Historical Society, 1977)
- Robert H. Ruby, John A. Brown, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest, Revised Edition (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992)
- Theodore O. Williams, "The Indian Chief Kitsap," Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 4 (1934), pp. 297-299 digital version at (http://content.lib.washington.edu)
Kitsap County Online Resources
- Kitsap County, Legacy, USGENWEB
- Kitsap County, USGENWEB
- Genealogy Trails History Group
- American History and Genealogy Project
- American Local History Network
Kitsap County Libraries
- Bainbridge Island Library
- 1270 Madison N.
- Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
- Downtown Bremerton Library
- 612 5Th St.
- Bremerton, WA 98337
- Kingston Library
- 11212 Ne State Hwy 104
- Kingston, WA 98346
- Little Boston Library
- 31980 Little Boston Rd. Ne
- Kingston, WA 98346
- Manchester Library
- 8067 E. Main St.
- Manchester, WA 98353
- Port Orchard Library
- 87 Sidney St.
- Port Orchard, WA 98366
- Poulsbo Library
- 700 Ne Lincoln St.
- Poulsbo, WA 98370
- Silverdale Library
- 3450 Nw Carlton St.
- Silverdale, WA 98383
- Sylvan Way Library
- 1301 Sylvan Way
- Bremerton, WA 98310
- Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society
- Bainbridge Island Historical Society
- Elizabeth Ellington Chapter, NSDAR
- Kitsap Historical Society & Museum
- Olympic Peninsula Chapter, Historical Society of Germans from Russia
- Poulsbo Historical Society
- Puget Sound Genealogical Society
Statewide Online Resources
- Washington State Digital Archives
- History Link.org the Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History