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The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Gig Harbor from local author Donald R. Tjossem. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of Gig Harbor’s past.

Gig Harbor, located in southern Puget Sound, received its name from the Wilkes Expedition in 1841. History indicates that the captain's gig led the expedition into this small harbor during a storm that came up quite suddenly, hence the name, "Gig."

Following the Native Americans, the early settlers were fishermen, farmers, boat builders and lumbermen. Gig Harbor was dependent mostly upon land and water travel until 1940, when the first Narrows Bridge was built; however, it collapsed in less than a year. The replacement bridge was not completed until 1950, but with its construction, Gig Harbor grew quickly and became a bedroom district of Tacoma and the greater Puget Sound area.

Today, the saw mills and lumber mills that stimulated the area’s economy are all closed. However, fishing still remains as one of the mainstays of Gig Harbor commerce.

Highlights of Gig Harbor include:

  • The Pioneers who formed Gig Harbor
  • Early Commerce in the area
  • Activities of the Gig Harbor locals
  • Narrows Bridge

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit