Name: Commander's House
Year Built: circa 1934
Location: Point Hudson
Area: Point Hudson
The Commander's House was built as the residence of the Commanding Medical Officer of the U.S. Quarantine Station at Point Hudson. The station was constructed as one of the Public Works projects designed to provide employment in the 1930s.
The Commander's House, the junior officer's quarters, detention hospital, offices, stores, and six other buildings were stoutly built to government specifications, in the Colonial Revival style, with simple, neo-classical elements. By the time the station opened in 1935, faster, cleaner ships, with showers and fresh food had eliminated most of the problems requiring quarantine. It was already obsolete.
The Commander's House was first occupied in September 1935, by the senior surgeon for the Public Health Department. Later on, the site became a vocational school for the National Youth Administration. In 1939, World War II was erupting in Europe, and the U.S. Coast Guard took over Point Hudson as a training station. In 1941, the Navy took over command of the Coast Guard. They enlarged the harbor and constructed a building to service mine sweepers and patrol boats. The tower housed a signal light that queried passing ships. In July 1943, Eleanor Roosevelt boarded a vessel here in the harbor enroute to Port Angeles for the christening of a relative's baby. It is rumored that she was entertained by the occupants of the Commander's House.
In 1946, the station was officially decommissioned and placed in caretaking status. In 1947 it was transferred to the War Assets Administration as surplus property. Six months later it was again transferred, this time to the U.S. Army, to use as a training and logistics base. In 1953 the Army moved out, taking more than one-third of Port Townsend's population with it. This was an economic disaster for the community.
n 1956 the Port of Port Townsend bought the property, but found it could not afford to maintain or develop it. It was leased to a former Port Townsend harbormaster for $6,000 a year for 40 years. The lease was sold in 1968 to the Point Hudson Company, which ultimately developed the Point Hudson Resort & Marina as it is today. Used for many purposes over five decades, the Commander's House was refurbished in 1995 and became a guest house at this wonderful beach location.
See also: Commander's Beach House
Data modified from the National Register of Historic Places, the former Victorian Festival Heritage Home Tour, property owners and other sources. All material copyrighted by PTguide.com.