Historic Sites & Activities
Austin Estuary Park
Located on the site of the old C.O. Austin Mill, the Austin Estuary Park is located next to the museum and provides "walk-in" water access. While remnants of the old mill can no longer be seen, old photographs show huge log rafts floating along the shore waiting to be milled.
The mill changed hands in 1947 after Austin's tragic death, becoming Galbrath Mill. The land was later sold to Peninsula Light Company, who occupied the site until the 1980s. The park was designated in 2006.
Donkey Creek Park
Located across the street from the Museum, Donkey Creek Park occupies the site of what was once Borgen's Building Supply, and prior to that, Austin & Erickson Log Homes. Some of their distinctive vertical log buildings can still be seen around Gig Harbor. The Beach Basket building, built in the 1950s, is one.
Today, Donkey Creek Park is home to Donkey Creek where chum salmon come to spawn each year. If you stand on the platform below the restrooms in October and November, you just might spot the returning salmon.
The park was named for the Donkey Steam Engine that once ran the mill at the site.
Eddon Boat Park & Gig Harbor BoatShop
Housed in an historic building long occupied by boat building companies, the Gig Harbor BoatShop at Eddon Boat Park is now a community non-profit boat yard. First built by Conrad Anderson then later run by Glein Boat, the boat yard was known for working on both work boats and pleasure craft.
Today, boats are built and restored in the large shop onsite.
Netsheds are unique structures built to house the nets and equipment of Gig Harbor's commercial fishermen. Skansie Netshed was owned by the Skansie Family, with Antone and Vince being the last to fish out of the shed. Their boat, AVALON, was moored there for decades. The netshed is often open to the public on Farmer's Market days and weekends.
Don't miss the wonderful shops that line Gig Harbor's waterfront and uptown. From the Museum's own Mercantile to the Beach Basket, Tickled Pink, Heritage Distilling, Bella Kitchen, Ship to Shore, and Gallery Row, there's something for everyone.