Learn More About Our History
Built in 1890, the Bishop Block was constructed by William Bishop Sr., one of the famous pioneers in Jefferson County history. William Bishop and his British Navy companion, William Eldridge, abandoned ship near Victoria during the Crimean War. They paid a local Native American .50 cents to row them across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Dungeness Spit. From there they hiked to Port Townsend. Here they met early settler Loren Hastings, who hired them to work on his farm near the site of the present Port Townsend Golf Course.
Mr. Bishop established a cheese and dairy business and sold his produce in Port Townsend, making the day-long trip by horse and wagon. He was the first farmer in the area to grow hops. In 1889, Mr. Bishop retired to Port Townsend, where he became a leading Port Townsend builder, including the erection of the Bishop Block building. He operated the Bishop Block for several years, originally intending was to have offices on the upper floors, but the economic decline of the 1890s took away the demand. Bishop later sold the building to the Owl Cigar Company which continued to rent out the street level offices and used the upper levels as a tobacco storage and distribution facility.
In 1940, the U.S. Navy bought it and converted it into a rooming house to shelter civilian workers during WWII. Decades later, Mr. and Mrs. John Pickett purchased the building in 1980 and opened it as a hotel. Purchased by the current owners in the 1990's, they lovingly restored the building to reflect the Victorian period. Most of the period pieces gracing the hotel were purchased locally.