While it has had to cancel some of its popular fall activities due to COVID-19, Port Gamble still has plenty for those who want to spend a little time in this piece of New England tucked in the Pacific Northwest.
“This year certainly has been a challenge, but Port Gamble is rolling with the punches,” Port Gamble’s Weddings & Events supervisor Pete Orbea said.
While all of the businesses in Port Gamble have reopened and are working within state guidelines, most of the townwide festivals and events have been postponed until 2021.
“The Port Gamble Theater Company has taken one of the biggest hits with COVID-19 having to cancel their 2020 season of great shows,” Orbea said. “We have seen a lot of people stopping by Port Gamble on their travels, much like any other year, although tourism is down overall.”
Port Gamble sits on unseated S’Klallam lands and was established as a mill town in 1853 by two men from Maine, Andrew Pope and William Talbot, who brought the New England influence to the architecture of the town.
One of the homes is known as the Walker-Ames house, considered one of the most-haunted buildings in state. Orbea is a paranormal researcher and investigator and established the town’s Ghost Tours and Paranormal Investigations and the Port Gamble Ghost Conference.
The 11th Annual Ghost Conference has been moved to online, which makes it easier for folks to participate, Orbea said.
The conference will be Nov. 6-8 and will give people an opportunity to have a virtual tour/investigation of the Walker-Ames House and the Port Gamble Theater as well as offer Zoom panel discussions and classes.
Ghost Tours are offered every Friday and Saturday in October, including on Halloween, from 7-10 p.m. for those 16 and older; group sizes are limited, and masks are encouraged.
For those who want normal instead of paranormal, Port Gamble’s Halloween/Trick-or-Treat event is not being promoted, but local businesses will still be ready with treats for any little ghosts or ghostbusters who stop by.
“Traditionally, we have promoted the Halloween event as a safe place to bring kids for an afternoon of Halloween spirit. However, we didn’t want to encourage any large gatherings in the name of public health safety.
“Safety has been the goal with all of the Port Gamble businesses, and I’m sure, like all of us, are ready for ‘normal,’ ” Orbea said.