Our best Lake Union Sea Ray customers just wrapped up a lovely boating weekend at one of our favorite destinations, Poulsbo. We thought it would be fun to give our faithful readers a brief history of the little town on the bay.
First, Poulsbo is located on Liberty Bay in Northern Kitsap County. It is lovingly referred to as “Little Norway” because of all of the Norwegian Americans who settled there in the late 1800s. And the town has kept its Norwegian history alive with street names (Fjord Street, Bjermeland Place), names of businesses (Valholl Brewing, Thor’s Hammer and Needle), and décor (the giant statue of Viking King Olaf that greets you as you enter town). It’s a fun little town that has Sluys Bakery—the best and biggest donuts around.
Now onto the history part of the program. Local Indian tribes occupied Poulsbo for many years before European Americans arrived and settled. After the settlers arrived, the Indians still used the bay for fishing and gathering shellfish even after ceding the land in the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855. They traded the fish they caught with the white residents.
Ole Stubb (born Ole Anderson Stubbhaug) and his family were the first people to settle down in Poulsbo around 1875. He was drawn to Dog Fish Bay (now called Liberty Bay) and knew it would be a great place that would bring other Norwegians in. While he was right about it being a great place, it took seven years for others to come join Ole Stubb and his family. In September of 1883, Jorgen Eliason and Peter Olson came across the Sound by boat and settled into Poulsbo. Eliason stayed in the area and is considered the founder of Poulsbo despite Ole Stubb being there first.
Poulsbo was used heavily as a fishing and logging hub in the 1800s and early 1900s. Iver Moe’s, another Norwegian who came to Poulsbo, built roads, ferries, and the first standard gauge railroad operation in the country. Poulsbo was very much an industrial town for many years after it was settled and is home to many “firsts” in the country—all thanks to the Norwegians!
Poulsbo is still the perfect area for fishing and boating, and now also for eating and hanging out. You can stop by Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse and grab a latte then stroll down Front St. to Sluys Poulsbo Bakery for a giant donut and some Norwegian black bread—all handmade from scratch! Take your coffee and carbs and head to the waterfront for beautiful views of the marina and the mountains with some birds and otters thrown in the mix.