Alexander’s Castle

We camped for a night recently at Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend. Fort Worden is a compound of former military buildings that now house a conference center, education partnerships, vacation rentals, and eateries as well as campgrounds and beaches. And in the midst of it all is Alexander’s Castle, shown above.

In 1883 the rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, John B. Alexander, acquired 10 acres of land in this area and built what came to be known as Alexander’s Castle. He and his intended bride would live here after he fetched her from Scotland. Alas, she married another and he returned a bachelor. He used the building as a temporary residence. In 1897 the property was acquired by the federal government and the construction of Fort Worden began.

In the 1880s and 1890s Alexander held posts in the region as Honorary British Vice-Consul and Her Majesty’s Consul. In his later years he lived in England and died there in the 1930s. During military operations at the Fort, Alexander’s Castle was used for family living, as an observation post, and a tailor shop.

On the bridge

Railroad Bridge is an old railroad trestle across the Dungeness River, owned by our local Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. It is a link in the Olympic Discovery Trail and is well used by walkers and bicyclists. A couple of years ago the section of the bridge beyond the wooden trestle seen here in the foreground collapsed after being battered by debris during flooding. It was rebuilt and after it was completed the entire bridge was repaved.

The repaving incorporated beautiful plaques with motifs that are used in Native American art in this region.

The plaques are about 3 feet by 2 feet (.91 meters by .60 meters).

They are striking additions to the bridge.

New trail

There’s a short new branch off one of our favorite trails in the Dungeness Recreation area. It’s the one on the right here. It replaces a steep pitch that branched downhill further ahead from the left hand trail. Thrill seeking bicyclists occasionally favored it but it was sometimes perilous. I managed to fall on it in the snow once while actually going uphill. I won’t miss it.

Whimsy Park

The temporary former location of the Sequim Farmer’s Market has taken on a new life. “Whimsy Park” is something of a popup park that has transformed a previously bare lot on Washington Street. A mural that was incomplete several months ago is now enhancing a space with picnic tables, a small stage, and straw bale seating.

Landscaping has been installed and wood chips soften the look of formerly bare soil. The space is inviting, colorful, and far more welcoming than it previously was.