kitsap county historical society
Kitsap Historical Society & Museum

KCHS   KCHS People have lived on the Kitsap Peninsula for thousands of years, drawn by its many natural resources. Travel down a timeline to learn about Kitsap’s diverse residents from native peoples to loggers, farmers, shipbuilders, and military personnel.

Each of these eras are represented in stylized vignettes drawn from our museum collections, and offer a glimpse into the economic development of Kitsap County.

Longhouse Diorama funded by the Washington Commission for the Humanities
Floating Log Camp funded by the Ben B. Cheney Foundation


Step through the preserved entryway of the 1919 Washington School and take a stroll through history. Main Street features numerous local shop fronts dating from the early 1900s through mid-century, as well as window displays in constant rotation. Visit the Curtis-Ward photo studio, Bremer’s Emporium, John Moeller’s clock shop, and more.


Main Street (overall exhibit) funded by the estate of C. Keith Birkenfeld
Schoolhouse exhibit funded by the Washington Education Association – Olympic Council
and the Bremerton Education Association
Mercantile funded by the Bremerton (Central) Lions Club
Medical Clinic funded in part by individual members of the Kitsap County Medical Society
Emporium funded in part by Anita Williams, in loving memory of her mother, Ellamae Biklen
John Moeller’s Clock Shop funded in part by Amy Burnett, in honor of her father, George Allen
Feed Store funded & built by Tex & Lynda Lewis

KCHS   Hands-on Gallery
The Hands-on Gallery is popular with children of all ages. One of the most popular artifacts in the museum is a working section of the Silverdale switchboard from Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company (now US West). Other artifacts to explore may include a treadle sewing machine, manual typewriter, stereograph, and period clothing. The gallery also features hands-on activities in conjunction with our temporary exhibits.

Pole Barn


The Museum’s Rural Heritage Exhibit, located at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, is more commonly referred to as the Pole Barn. This mixed storage and display space houses farming, logging, and blacksmithing equipment, as well as other materials from Kitsap’s rural working history. Artifacts range from heavy equipment to hand tools, wagons, and more. Items of special interest include the 1931 Chevrolet mail truck which served Kingston, slated for an upcoming restoration, and a working hay trolley.

Come visit the Pole Barn during the Kitsap County Fair and Stampede, or by appointment any time of the year.

Each year during the fair, the Pole Barn features new exhibits and special projects:

2011 featured a newly added blacksmiths workbench, formerly used on Bainbridge Island, and the hand-carved sign from Breidablik Hall, north of Poulsbo. We also hosted members from the Great Peninsula Conservancy, promoting support of the historic Petersen Farm north of Silverdale. view photos


2010 featured a new exhibit on Golden Taylor, which occupied the Golden building as was the place for naval personnel to have uniforms made. This year also saw the installation of a hay trolley in the Pole Barn. Members of the Olympic Peninsula Antique Tractor and Engine Association provided hand- and belt-drive corn shellers and grinders for visitors to try out and take home a bag of fresh birdseed view photos

2009 view photos

Also new was an exhibit on blacksmithing, featuring a working bellows and large variety of forge tools used at the McGillery blacksmith shop located at 229 2nd Street in Bremerton. This collection was generously donated by Edward Cassell.

2008 During the fair, Chris Davenport videotaped oral histories for the Society.
view photos from the fair

view photos of the oral history project

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