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Bite-Sized Port Gamble History: The Community Center (Theater & Post Office)

Constructed and designed in 1906 by architects Bebb & Mendel, Seattle’s most prominent architect firm in the first decade and a half of the 20th century, the community center/theater/post office building was built for a staggering $12,110.80.

The hall was a center for community activities from its first days despite mobility engendered by the automobile. A radio script from 1938 illustrates the social activities at Port Gamble, many of which were held in the hall:

“This is a small town but is teeming with activity and is considered a Club Town. There is a Masonic Order, Odd-Fellows, Orthopedic Church Guild (supporting the Children’s Hospital in Seattle), Boy Scouts, and a Community Club. I am sure the life in Port Gamble is far from being dull as every night is taken up with some activity. Monday is library night and women’s athletics; Tuesdays and Thursdays are men’s athletics; Wednesday belongs to the Boy Scouts. Friday night is the picture show with all of the latest run pictures and Saturday night is usually given over to Community Club affairs, dances, card parties, and other entertainments, so you see Port Gamble is full of life”. {Source- “Port Gamble on the Air February 25th, 1938”, radio script, Pope & Talbot archives, Port Gamble}

Today, and as always, this building houses the Port Gamble Theater Co. and the town’s U.S. Post Office along with businesses like Zufelt Construction Services.