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Then & Now: Still There, But So Different

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

How good are you at seeing the old in the present day? Here are some intriguing challenges that you can see and find for yourself even in this day of social distancing. Some will be familiar, others, maybe not. Test your skill by finding these three places in the downtown Gig Harbor area. Try to replicate the "Then" pictures with your own pictures taken in the "Now." Challenge on!

Clue: It's not a 10-Cents Store anymore...but it was once a Variety Store that sold everything from hairnets to sewing needles. The car is a 1940 Ford Coupe.

Here's the same location in 2020. Yes, there's been a few changes, including the car. Can you spot at least five*? (See below for the full list.)

Then & Now #2: Harborview Drive Downtown

Clue: The talented metalworker Howard Cox owned and ran Gig Harbor Machine Works. Local legend has it that he invented the stainless steel purse ring used on seiner nets.

Pictured on a slightly less busy day in 2020, the Machine Works building now houses the gift shop Weathered Cottage. The scene at left was taken during the 1970s Harbor Holidays festival while the scene at right was taken during the March-April Coronavirus "shut-down" that closed schools and businesses, encouraging everyone to "stay home and stay healthy."

The School Where Lucy Taught - Then & Now #3

Clue: It has no windows anymore...and they removed the second floor!

If you guessed it is the old Crescent Valley School built in 1915, you're right! The building is located at the corner of Crescent Valley Drive and 96th/Vernhardson near the City Park. Lucy Goodman, one of Gig Harbor's most devoted teachers, taught the lower grades here in the 1920s.

It's hard to believe this is the same building but a few clues do remain. The columned entrance is the most obvious, along with the foundation. You're not alone if you wonder why. Story lay in its change of use. After being decommissioned as a school in 1942, it became the Masonic Temple (Johns Paul Lodge) in 1947. Masons and Eastern Star meeting were held here for some five decades before the lodge was decommissioned and the building put up for sale. It was purchased by the City of Gig Harbor and will likely become part of the City Park.

Here's another view of the school in the 1920s. Check out the "fire escape" at left.

Lucy Goodman and her class of first through fourth graders in 1924 (below). The picture is taken on the front steps pf the school. Note the concrete steps and base of the right column in the right front corner of the photograph.

Crescent Valley School (or at least what's left of it) and the Midway School (relocated to the Museum campus in 2009) are the last remaining neighborhood schools in the area.

We hope you had fun investigating these three very different Then & Now challenges!

*Answers to Then & Now #1: Five differences to find— 1. The building was added on to; 2. There are lines on the road; 3. Street trees were planted; 4. The car is a different year, make and model; 5. The building to the right has an awning; 6. The mail boxes are gone; 7. Wood siding not white stucco; 8. Awning is solid not striped; 9. Business name changed; 10. Window and door trim painted white.

Photo Credits:

Harbor History Museum Collection, Catalog Numbers GH-152, E-03.2, FS72-5, Sch-183-CV

2020 Photos: Kellys on Pioneer, Harborview Drive, and Crescent Valley School Now by Stephanie Lile

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