Explore Sequim’s Local History

Sequim HistoryThough today Sequim has the appearance of a small yet modern city, that hasn’t always been the case.  Sequim has a rich and varied history, which can be traced back centuries.  At it’s earliest, Sequim was home to the Jamestown S’klallam Tribe, members of which still reside along the beautiful shores of Sequim Bay. In later years, the arid Sequim Valley became home to early pioneers and settlers, who turned these dry lands into an irrigated agricultural powerhouse. Though agriculture still remains a vital part of Sequim’s identity, it is now more known as a sunny retirement and tourist destination. Despite the modernization of Sequim, there are still a variety of historic destinations to explore, which remain an important aspect of the Sequim community.  Find your dream home from our local real estate listings, and then learn everything you can about this charming small town on the Olympic Peninsula.  

Local History

Though Sequim was first homesteaded in 1854 for Port Williams and the abundant fresh seafood, early settlers quickly discovered that the relatively arid lands weren’t good for farming. Agriculture was a struggle in the region until 1896, when settlers dug a network of irrigation ditches to irrigate the entire valley using the waters from the Dungeness River.  The city of Sequim still pays homage to this brilliant part of it’s history at the annual Irrigation Festival in May.  Apart from the still-abundant farm land, a symbol of Sequim’s argicultural heyday is still evident today at the downtown Grain Elevator.  This distinctive building in Sequims low skyline was once home to the old Clallam Co-Op Granary, which was conveniently positioned along the railroad that once cut through town.  Another remnant of the former railroad that once graced Sequim is the popular Railroad Bridge Park.  Here, you can still see and walk or bike across the 600-foot railroad trestle that spans the Dungeness River, which is part of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Sequim HistorySequim’s history is also still alive at the historic Sequim Opera House downtown.  This wonderful building was built in 1906, and was an active community site for musical events and concerts, community dances, school graduations, public meetings and other civic gatherings.  To this day, it’s still a vibrant part of Sequim’s community, as it houses the businesses in what is now known as the Sequim Trading Co. Plaza.  Another historic building of interest in Sequim is the Dungeness Schoolhouse.  This beautiful 2-story schoolhouse was built in 1892, operating until 1955. Today, the Dungeness Schoolhouse continues to serve the community by hosting programs and classes throughout the year, and operating as a rental space for a variety of community uses.  Finally, a trip through Sequim’s history would be incomplete without visiting the New Dungeness Lighthouse, located on the popular Dungeness Spit.  This beautiful lighthouse, which was built in 1857, was the first lighthouse built in the then-Washington territory.  The light station and 80 of it’s surrounding acres have been designated a National Historic District, thus preserving this piece of Sequim’s history for years to come.  You can access the New Dungeness Lighthouse along the shores of the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.  Find your dream home with our local real estate listings, and get ready to make this community your permanent home.