The museum offers 7,000 square feet of permanent galleries showcasing the rich, unique heritage of the Gig Harbor Peninsula. Unique artifacts, video kiosks, hands-on exhibits, computer interactives, and a small theater bring Peninsula history to life in our permanent galleries.
Special Exhibition Gallery
Hands at Work
June 16 - September 9
As our society gets more and more technology based and further from the production process, there is a renewed interest in the rediscovery of skills and professions that rely on working hands. From setting metal type to turning wood and hauling nets, these hands know the weight of a letter, the direction of wood grain, the bounty of the sea. The healing power of hands has long been known as well, and the fact that our personalities can be read in a palm or by the very calluses we work to conceal.
Hands at Work is an extraordinary exhibit of photographs and quotes from the makers whose hands and work are featured. Twenty-four (16" x 20") framed images with accompanying quotes make up the 1,000-1,500 square-foot exhibit along with a mirror that encourages visitors to frame their own hands, asking the questions, "What work do your hands do? To what work do they aspire?"
Hands at Work is a heartfelt collaboration between photographer Summer Moon Scriver and author Iris Graville. Drawn from a wide array of interviews and photo shoots conducted by Graville and Scriver, Hands at Work features a number of people who live and work in Puget Sound; many are from Lopez Island, Washington, home to Graville and Scriver. In addition to creating the exhibit, the pair's 144-page hardcover book has received numerous awards including a National Best Books Award in Photography, an Outstanding Book award by Independent Publishers (IPPY), and a gold Nautilus Book Award.
Join us for a Members' Reception on July 25th at 5:00 p.m. prior to Iris Graville's Humanities in the Harbor presentation.
SUNRISE BEACH: Pioneering Spirit
June 12 - July 8
The seaside community of Sunrise Beach is one of the hidden enclaves of the Peninsula. The area’s natural springs were known to Native peoples and documented as the viewpoint by which early explorers first set eyes on Mt. Rainier. The land was later claimed as a U.S. military reservation but was abandoned in 1894 when it became a place to call home for a group of spirited pioneers. The early inhabitants of Sunrise Beach were a noteworthy group who were determined, entrepreneurial, neighborly, and who share a love of the outdoors. To them, Sunrise Beach was their wonderland.
Pioneer School Experience
The award-winning Pioneer School Experience, in the restored Midway Schoolhouse and museum galleries, is an opportunity for school groups to step back in time, learn local history, and relive schoolhouse life at the turn of the century. Participants are immersed in four hours of continuous programmingwith curriculum designed to meet several Washington State Education Standards.
Price: $7 per student
Program Available T-F (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
Primary Museum Experience
The Primary Museum Experience is an instructor led introduction to the museum. Students in grades K-2nd learn museum etiquette, visit the restored Midway Schoolhouse, participate in an I Spy activity and enjoy a hands on tour of the main and maritime galleries.
Price: $5 per student
Program Available: T-F (Available during museum hours; 1.5 hour program)
If you would like more information or to schedule a field trip please email email@example.com.
Youth and Family Programming
The 65-foot purse seiner, Shenandoah, was donated to the Museum in 2000. The fishing vessel was owned by Tony Janovich, who donated it to the Museum shortly after his retirement. Currently, we are in the process of restoring the vessel. If you would like to volunteer on the restoration please click here. Also to follow the progress of the restoration click here.
The Harbor History Museum has a variety of programs for adults in the community, including our well-received Buried History series and our popular Our Town series.
For a peek inside previous programming, please click here.
The Harbor History Museum houses a vast array of collections relating to the Gig Harbor Peninsula and surrounding communities. The Museum also serves as the official repository for the fallen Tacoma Narrows Bridge nicknamed "Galloping Gertie."
If you are interested in conducting your own research please call 253-858-6722 for information on hours and collection availability or email the research team.