By CHRISTINE STANSBERY | Special for the Independent
Port Orchard has undergone many changes and much growth in its almost 125 years of existence, but for those who know where to look there are still many landmarks remaining from the origin of the town.
The town was platted in 1886 as Sidney and incorporated in 1890. Port Orchard sprang up along the current Bay Street with the business district reaching from Port Orchard Boulevard to Blackjack Creek.
Some of the original buildings are still standing today while others burned in several fires which hit the town in 1894 and 1908.
Persons who ever wondered about the historic homes in downtown Port Orchard will have an opportunity to see some of the homes during the Sidney Museum and Arts Association’s annual Historic Homes and Garden Tour on July 26-27.
This year’s tour will have an “art twist.”
The self-guided tour includes garden areas, inside tours of several homes, artists demonstrating en plein air, and art quilts from local quilters on display.
Sally Shuster, president of the Sidney Museum and Arts Association, said that the tour is an opportunity to showcase local history and artists.
“Everyone involved is gearing up for the event,” Shuster said.
The home and garden tour is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 26.
One of the houses, located at 225 Sidney Ave., was built in 1920 from a kit purchased from Sears and Roebuck catalog for $1,995. The 8- x-16-inch concrete blocks were produced on the site by a Sears “Wizard” concrete building block machine, also purchased from the Sears Catalog for $42.50.
Across the street, the first Lodge center constructed in 1908 and is now the home of the Sidney Museum and Arts Association. The building has remained unaltered except for paint.
The Log Cabin Museum, celebrating its 100th anniversary, was saved from a planned burning in 1970 and now houses a family of mannequins. Next to the Log Cabin, is the Judge Sutton House — built in 1929 — and features a side garden housing a fountain original to the house. Other homes included on the tour are the Harry Howe House (724 Kitsap St.), built in 1929; Harbormaster’s House (319 Sidney Ave.), built in 1908; the Holmberg House (315 Sidney Ave.), built in 1929; Ross House (709 Kitsap St.), built in 1941 and a home built in 1913 at 903 Kitsap St.
On July 27, a self-guided walking tour of downtown businesses is set for 12-4 p.m., beginning at the Olde Central Antique Mall on Bay Street. The cost of the tour is $25 for both days. Most of the homes are not handicap accessible.
Participating artists include Elissa Whittleton (drawing), Sherry Beck (watercolor), Dixie Rogerson (fused glass), Mary McInnis (pastels), Ray Hammer (metal art), Louise Ness (fiber art), Becky Horkan (potter), Gearhart Hollow Creations (garden art), and Seattle artists Arlene Marz (collage) and Billie Torbenson (mixed media). Art quilts from Sinclair Quilters will be featured.
Tickets are available at the Sidney Art Gallery and Museum, 202 Sidney Ave., and at the Olde Central Antique Mall, 801 Bay St.