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Disappearing History!

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

We found these pictures in the Harbor Mystery Museum collection. Can you guess where they were taken? It's a challenge even for the most eagle-eyed. Why? Because only a small remnant of the dock remains. Scroll down to see why.

Above: A nice, calm day in the Fall of 1974...but the dock had been built a long time before by a man named Charlie Warren. He was friends with a neighbor fisherman named Axel Ahlberg who owned four different fishing boats over the years.

Below: Here is Axel and his crew at the dock in the 1930s.

The privately owned dock and shed were used for decades. They looked across the water at an island. Can you guess which one?

Clue: It wasn't named for an animal, although you might guess it was by its name.

Charlie Warren had a store that was stocked with goods brought there by Mosquito Fleet steamers and quite likely local farmers. This was before bridges connected the Gig Harbor peninsula to Tacoma (the Narrows Bridge) and to islands like Raft Island, Fox Island, and Bainbridge Island). Back then, most people on the Peninsula traveled by boat, and barely anyone had a car.

Clue: If we could see to the left of this picture, we'd see a bridge...

“And then came a mighty and terrible storm.”

The boat launch flooded, and the old Warren dock crashed into the angry waves. Today, barely a trace exists where Charlie Warren's dock once stood. The only remaining piece of evidence is a concrete boat ramp barely visible on the beach.

But if you stop at the public boat launch across the water and look back toward the mainland, you'll see the area of private homes where Charlie Warren's disappearing dock once stood.

Get your detective on!

Here's a detail from a Metsker's Pierce County Map from the 1960s showing the property owners along the shore. Can you find Charlie Warren's property where the dock would have been?

Clue: It's marked "C. Warren."

Challenge: Can you find the spot today using Google's satellite view? How have the street names changed?

Image Credits

Warren Dock Photos: Harbor History Museum Collection

Warren Dock and Ahlberg Boat, c. 1930s: Courtesy of Krista Pearson

Metsker Map of Pierce County, April 1965, pg 26: Harbor History Museum Collection

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