Washington State: Adventures in Port Orchard, WA

Welcome to Port Orchard
Welcome to Port Orchard

As I may have noted in my earlier Washington posts, my daughter and her family live in Port Orchard, WA.  The city is located 13 miles due west of West Seattle and connected to Seattle and Vashon Island via the Washington State Ferries run to Southworth.

View of Mt. Rainier from the ferry near Port Orchard, WA
View of Mt. Rainier from the ferry near Port Orchard, WA

The Port Orchard area was first settled in 1854 by Wiliam Renton and Daniel Howard, who set up a saw mill there. The town that was to become Port Orchard was originally platted in 1886 by Frederick Stevens, who named the new location after his father, Sidney. The town of Sidney was incorporated September 15, 1890, and was the first in Kitsap County to be both platted and incorporated. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Navy sought a suitable location for another installation on the west coast, and found it with the assistance of Sidney’s residents in Orchard Bay (this installation would later become the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard).  The shipyard is still there.

A scene of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from the Port Orchard Ferry area
A scene of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from the Port Orchard Ferry area

The population of the city is about 12,000.

Another view of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Another view of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Over the few days we were there I was able to get a glimpse of the uniqueness of the pleasant town.  There are walls downtown with large murals and a few quirky places that were fun.

Undersea World mural in Port Orcahrd
Undersea World mural in Port Orcahrd

When we first drove through town I spied a large mural depicting an undersea world, including orcas and other things.  I captured a couple of shots and detail views of this colorful and large mural.

Unfortunately, I have searched to locate the artist of this work, but have not found it yet.

Entire Mural
Entire Mural
Detail of Port Orchard Mural
Detail of Port Orchard Mural
A second detail view of Port Orchard mural
A second detail view of Port Orchard mural – even has a treasure chest!!
The Orcas on the wall mural in Port Orchad
The Orcas on the wall mural in Port Orchard
This is another mural in Port Orchard
This is another mural in downtown Port Orchard

When you first get off of the ferry in Port Orchard, you can see the library, which has a few colorful murals as well.

One mural panel on Port Orchard library
One mural panel on Port Orchard library (If I recall correctly)
Sumoflam at the Mattress Ranch
Sumoflam at the Mattress Ranch

Along with murals, I am always on a never-ending quest to find the quirky and fun.  My son-in-law came across a place near Port Orchard that was udderly mooooving!  Indeed, it fulfills the definition of quirky to the max.

The Mattress Ranch in Port Orchard, WA
The Mattress Ranch in Port Orchard, WA
CJ the Cow-poke
CJ the Cow-poke

The place is called The Mattress Ranch and is one store of a chain of eleven stores in Washington and Alaska.  The brainchild of Ted Sadtler,  who has created a serious and profitable business with a quirky and fun twist.  The location in Port Orchard has a couple dozen fiberglass cows and many more farm animals sitting in a section outside of the parking lot.  Ultimately, its a kitschy twist on getting people to come to their stores, which continue the farm animal motif on the inside as well.  For me…a perfect fun spot with the quirky, off-beat character that I like.  Here are a few pics of “The Ranch.”

Mattress Ranch, Port Orchard, WA
Mattress Ranch, Port Orchard, WA

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Granddaughter Livvy with a ram at the Mattress Ranch
Granddaughter Livvy with a ram at the Mattress Ranch
Grandsons at play with a cow...milking it for all its worth!
Grandsons at play with a cow…milking it for all its worth!

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Bethel Saloon in Port Orchard, WA
Bethel Saloon in Port Orchard, WA

Then, on another trip we drove by a place…obviously a Biker Bar.  It was great!!  This too is in Port Orchard.

The Bethel Saloon has a skeleton on a motorcycle as the main decor at the top of the building.   They claim to be the only Biker Bar in town.  The building was apparently one of America’s first official Texaco Gasoline Service Stations in the late 1920’s. It’s also served as a general store, cafe, dry cleaners and pottery shop.   It is bedecked with a nice mural on the side and appears to have a great off-beat character to it. 

Bethel Saloon Mural
Bethel Saloon Mural
Closeup of the Biker Skeleton at Bethel Saloon
Closeup of the Biker Skeleton at Bethel Saloon

And, finally, a couple of other fun shots from town…

That's Bautiful Accessory Boutique in Port Orchard
That’s Beautiful Accessory Boutique in Port Orchard
A Gastro Pub in Port Orchard
A Gastro Pub in Port Orchard

Then, there is Easy Street….

EasyStreetDSC_6748And a couple of shots of the port…a ferry and my friend the Blue Heron….

A Walk-on Ferry leaves Port Orchard
A Walk-on Ferry leaves Port Orchard
A Blue Heron relaxes in the waters of Port Orchard
A Blue Heron relaxes in the waters of Port Orchard

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