Port Orchard Murals
Scattered throughout Port Orchard, you will find a number of murals on the sides of buildings. Some of these are fairly recent affairs, while others date back quite a few years.
The one that first greets you as you step off of the Bremerton to Port Orchard ferry is the one on the library. The library may look a bit older than it is due to the ornate stone work, but look closer: the fact is the library is a fairly boring structure made from concrete blocks. The only thing that makes it appear to have ornate stone work is a really well done mural that dates from the 1990 celebration of the town's centennial.
There are a small collection of murals in downtown, including several in a gravel courtyard on the north side of Bay Street. Here, not too long ago, a small storefront building was demolished - as of this writing it is still possible to see the roof of the building on Google Map's satellite photography images of the area. One building west of the building on the northwest corner of the intersection with Sidney Avenue, the building is simply gone now. In its place, this gravel courtyard now has several impressive murals on the walls of the two remaining buildings on either side.
Up the hill, the Sidney Art Gallery and Sidney Museum (they share the same building) have a mural on the side of their building showing a history view of the history of Port Orchard.
It is not entirely certain where the tradition of these murals came from, but most likely it was early Port Orchard resident Peder Storseth, who came here from Norway. A few of these murals, which have been described over the years in extremely glowing details, survive, but in many cases they have been painted over. Many of those original murals were on the inside of buildings, but today the effort is to put the murals on the outside of buildings.
In recent years, there was some serious thought put into putting a new mural on a building every year, so that eventually the entire town would be known (once again?) for its murals.
To date, only some of the buildings have been painted, however.
Huntington's Children's Park and Marina Park
While the most obvious city park that you come to as you walk off of the pedestrian-only ferry from Bremerton to Port Orchard is the Port Orchard Waterfront Park, if you turn left and follow the concrete walkway you will quickly come to another small park - or rather two smaller parks that are joined together to form a somewhat larger park.
The playground portion of this park is called "The Mary Ann Huntington Children's Park", while the portion of the park that contains the covered picnic area, a small covered outdoor ampitheatre of sorts, and apparently the beach area has a plaque declaring it the "Port Orchard Marina Park", even though the actual Port Orchard Marina is actually closer towards town and located next to the Port Orchard Waterfront Park.
The playground is small, but at least it is here, and if nothing else it is a place to keep small children entertained if you have just missed your ferry to Bremerton and need to kill half an hour or so. It might also be a good place to go if you get ice cream or some other outdoor summer treat while in town.
The beach is small and rocky, but it is a beach and it does appear to be a bit cleaner than some of the beaches nearby. Also, because it is quite sheltered, you will not find any large waves here unless there is a large local storm.
The covered ampitheatre might also be a good place to spend some time outside, if it is raining. It appears to be arranged so that a band can be playing under the cover of the gazebo / picnic table area, and the crowd can also have the same protection as well.
While there is a parking lot right next to the park, the park is qutie far from most traffic noise, and on a clear day offers a view of the Olympic Mountains.
I live here and I love it!
"Mountains, Pine trees and polite people"
I should keep this place a secret! Who wants to introduce the hoards of people who will clog up the, till now, uncrowded freeways?! I love looking out of the windows of my new and tiny house at the spruce and pine surrounding me, the sound of my feet crunching on the gravel pathway, watching woodpeckers and deer in my own back yard and the privilege of having Mt Rainier, the Olympics and the magical waters of Puget Sound as my everyday vista whilst driving to work! This whole area is so beautiful.