Our Mission

The mission of the Harbor History Museum is to create opportunities to experience the heritage of the greater Gig Harbor communities. We do this by collecting, preserving, and sharing the rich history of this area. Our vision is to be the cornerstone that provides a gathering place and a sense of identity for our community. 

Our Story

Established in 1964, the Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society dba the Harbor History Museum was awarded a 501(c)3 status by the IRS, and began operating a Museum in 1976. In the summer of 2007, the Society underwent a re-branding to create the name that communicates the essence of our mission. “Harbor History Museum,” was established at that time.

The Museum fulfills its mission and vision by providing a museum to the community and educational programs serving residents, visitors, researchers, and students. The Museum re-opened to the public on September 18, 2010. The facility includes: a 1893 fully restored one-room school house; a 65 foot fishing vessel currently under restoration; 7,000 square feet of exhibition space; and a 900-square foot library, research and meeting room.

The Museum provides a variety of public education programs. Our core educational program is the Pioneer School Experience (PSE), which serves over 1,500 students every year. Led by a trained “School Marm,” the children experience a pioneer school classroom complete with lessons, recitations, music, recess, and lunch. Children are encouraged to dress in period costume, and are provided with pioneer identities to support their learning experience. For our full-day programs, students also tour the Museum galleries and participate in “history mystery,” exploration stations.

Our permanent exhibit features professionally designed exhibitions, larger than life experiences, and opportunities for hands on exploration of our region’s rich history and unique heritage. Artifacts, video kiosks, hands on exhibits, computer interactives, and a small theatre bring Peninsula history to life in our permanent galleries. In addition, the Museum provides 3-5 special exhibits throughout the year so there is always something new to see and experience for our members and visitors. We also provide monthly Third Thursday concerts, and lectures, book readings, workshops, and film presentations.  


Check out our Blog

The Harbor History Museum produces a blog thanks to a wonderful volunteer! Learn about Gig Harbor's history and catch a sneak peak from our archives all from your computer or smartphone! To check out our blog please visit http://www.harborhistorymuseum.blogspot.com/


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