Key Peninsula Historical Society & Museum


Our museum store offers a variety of books, mugs, t-shirts, maps and family tree charts. If you are looking gifts while our store is closed, please email us or call 253-884-2511 for a special opening to buy a bit of KP history.

All proceeds help support the museum.


Along the Waterfront 2Along the WaterfrontA history of the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula Areas.

Compiled and written by students of 1974-1975 Goodman Middle School. Gig Harbor, Washington.
Another Sort of Pioneer 3Another Sort of Pioneer"Another Kind of Pioneer" by Frances Copeland Stickles tells the story of a remarkable woman and, through her, reveals a fascinating slice of American history.

Born in 1868 into a prominent Hartford, Connecticut family, Mary was raised in the sophisticated East - but with her 1896 marriage to Stephen Penrose, a Congregational minister and president of the fledgling Whitman College, she committed herself to a life in what was still the western frontier.
Auto Tour Through KP History 3Auto Tour through the Key PeninsulaThis guide by Simon Priest, Ph.D., takes you on a 50 mile journey to visit over 100 places of historical significance on the Key Peninsula. With thorough directions and clear maps, you easily arrive at the points of interest. With each detailed description and accompanying photograph, you learn all about the rich historical record of the Key Peninsula$10.00
Celebrate the Key Peninsula 3Celebrate the Key PeninsulaPartake in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Key Peninsula. See the sights and enjoy the sounds of this unique region and all the diversity of man and nature. Explore tide pools at Penrose Point State Park, admire sunsets over the Olympics, whale-watch in Case Inlet and savor the delicious flavors of the harvest season.

Enjoy these and many other pleasures in the beautiful photographic pages of this Key Peninsula News publication edited by Rodika Tollefson, Celebrate the Key Peninsula.
Early Days of the Key Peninsula 2Early Days of the Key PeninsulaThis fantastic compilation of Key Peninsula history by R. T. Arledge is available in both soft-bound ($35) and hard-bound ($60) versions. $35.00-$60.00
Glencove - Scenes from a Puget Sound Boyhood 2Glencove: Scenes from a Puget Sound BoyhoodMemoirs from a youth growing up on the Key Peninsula.

By Floyd Hall Oles, 1986.
Gig Harbor Book 3Images of America: Gig HarborUsing archival photographs, the Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country.

For "Images of America: Gig Harbor", local writer and author Donald R. Tjossem gathered photographs from the Harbor History Museum, Tacoma Public Library, Washington State Historical Society, and Museum of History and Industry as well as never-before-published images from private collections.
Historical Recipe Book 2Historical Recipe BookBrought to you by the members and friends of the Key Peninsula Historical Society, this compilation cookbook contains generations of special recipes whipped up on the Key Peninsula!$6.00
Kayaking Around KP 3Kayaking Around the Key PeninsulaThis guide by Simon Priest, Ph.D. & Caril Ridley, M.S., of the Key Peninsula Trails Committee, describes a 40 mile marine trail with 14 legs between 15 points of interest during a paddling journey around the Key Peninsula.

The book details each of the 15 points and 14 legs; and gives you all the information you need to navigate, rest, camp, and enjoy nature.
Logging the Great Forests of the NW 3Logging the Great Forests of the NorthwestIn 1927, author LeRoy N. Challender's family moved to Vaughn. He built his home on the Key Peninsula in 1950.

LeRoy had to commute over the years to Bremerton, Seattle, and Tacoma to earn a living.

Of all the places he has been, LeRoy says "None seem to compare with the vast, magnificent, and glorious beauty of the Northwest."
KPHS magnets 2Assorted Refrigerator MagnetsShow your Key Peninsula pride and support for the museum!$1.00
Mosquito Fleet of South Puget Sound 3Mosquito Fleet of South Puget SoundIn this Images of America series, co-authors Jean Cammon Findlay and Robin Paterson use archival photographs to present distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today.

Before the advent of roads in western Washington, steamboats of the Mosquito Fleet swarmed all over Puget Sound. From 1853 to modern car ferries in the 1920's, this volume chronicles the heyday of steamboating - a unique segment of maritime history - from modest launch to sleek liner.
kphs-mugsKey Peninsula Historical Society Logo MugsCoffee and tea drinkers can proudly display their support for the Key Peninsula with these fashionable KPHS mugs.

Mugs show illustration on one side and a detailed Key Peninsula map on the other. Hurry, supplies limited!
Parade of the Pioneers 2Parade of the PioneersIn this 1961 memoir, author Bertha M. (Gabrielson) Davidson takes readers through the history of the early days on Vaughn, Washington.$8.00
Peninsula Pioneers 3Peninsula PioneersColleen Slater is a renowned local author and collector of family and local history. In "Peninsula Pioneers" she combines published and unpublished stories and photographs of Key Peninsula pioneers, their descendants and their way of life.$25.00
Lakebay Steamboats 2The Lakebay SteamboatsPublished by Ronald and Constance Burke in May of 2006, this book contains stories about the famed Lakebay steamboats and the families that knew them.$12.00
kphs-tshirtKPHS T Shirts Cotton, available in sizes Small, Medium, Large, and Xtra Large$15.00
Chapel by the Sea 2The Chapel By the SeaEnjoy the story of a little church in Vaughn, Washington.

By Josephine Welsh, first published in 1939.
The Key Peninsula Book 3The Key PeninsulaThis book by local author Colleen A. Slater is another of the Images of America series, which celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country using archival photos and authentic stories.

In this volume, Colleen has gathered photographs and stories from the KPHS museum and from private collections to illustrate the history of the individual communities as well as that of the larger Key Peninsula community.
Book on Pierce CountyPierce CountyPublisher's note: Located in western Washington, Pierce County includes much of the southern Puget Sound shoreline, the entirety of Mount Rainier National Park, and Fort Lewis Base McChord, along with small towns such as Gig Harbor, Fife, Eatonville, Steilacoom, and Puyallup. With unlimited fishing and timber available, the area was first settled in the early 1800s. On December 22, 1852, the county was incorporated and subsequently named after Franklin Pierce, the recently elected president of the United States. Pierce County's development advanced in the following decades with the formation of Frederick Weyerhaeuser's Weyerhaeuser Company in 1900, the making of pleasure craft and fishing vessels for the county's seaport industry, and the creation of naval watercraft for World War II. Today, Pierce County is home to almost 900,000 individuals.

Published by Arcadia Publishing, Images of America series. By local author Donald R. Tjossem.
Book on Pierce CountyThe Tacoma Narrows BridgePublisher's note: When the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened on July 1, 1940, the bridge was in use for 130 days before it collapsed due to faulty engineering and high winds. A decade later, following World War II, the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened, and it is still in use today. However, due to a population increase over the bridge’s 57 years of use, an additional bridge was opened in 2007 to alleviate increasingly high traffic. The completion of the third bridge allowed vehicle speed to increase from less than 25 miles per hour to the present speed of 60 miles per hour during commuting times. Today, the original bridge opened in 1940 is still submerged in Puget Sound but was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Published by Arcadia Publishing, Images of America series. By local author Donald R. Tjossem.
Woodpecker Menace 3The Woodpecker MenaceThese stories from an "accidentally unseparated island" are brought to you by author Ted Olinger and illustrator Tweed Meyer.

The Key Peninsula floats quietly through time in South Puget Sound but exists more like an island in the hearts of her residents.
Trying Home 3Trying HomeLocal author and UW Tacoma librarian Justin Wadland tells readers about the rise and fall of an "anarchist utopia" on Puget Sound.

This true story traces the history of Home, Washington, from its founding in 1896 to its dissolution amid bitter infighting 25 years later.

Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Trying Home is a fascinating window into Pacific Northwest history, utopian communities, and anarchism.

Prices include Washington State sales tax

Please visit the museum to purchase. For distant friends and relatives, shipping can be arranged (contact us by email to make arrangements). We now accept Paypal. Or, visitors can make checks payable to: Key Peninsula Historical Society (KPHS).

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