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Harbor History Museum to Debut Lost Footage of Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse

HHM Collection #2786
Harbor History Museum is eager to announce the acquisition of unreleased footage documenting the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on November 7, 1940. Taken by Arthur T. Leach ¬-- a toll both operator at the time -- “The Lost Footage” is the only known video of the collapse as seen from the West side, or Gig Harbor side, of the Tacoma Narrows.

“As a historian, I am naturally skeptical until I am able to confirm details. I am excited to say that I have been able to verify that Mr. Leach was noted as a toll booth operator at the time and that this footage is a rare find,” says Harbor History Museum Director Stephanie Lile. “One of the things that makes this footage so special is that this was the personal view of somebody who actually worked on the bridge. The clip we always see is shot from the Tacoma side, so this is a whole different view.”

Along with a Director Talk, Harbor History Museum plans to debut “The Lost Footage” on February 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. as part of the Museum’s Humanities in the Harbor series. Those in attendance will be the first to glimpse the unseen 7:30 minute video of Galloping Gertie’s collapse and learn more about Arthur Leach, the research to verify the footage, and what happened that fateful November day. 

Admission to Humanities in the Harbor is $5, but free for Harbor History Museum members. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the front desk of the Museum. Members are encouraged to RSVPs as seating is limited. RSVPS can be made by emailing Zachary Sokolik, Marketing & Development, at or by phone at 253.858.6722.

The Museum Store will be featuring its new Narrows Bridge Collection with classic reproductions from our Collection, with new and unique items relating to Galloping Gertie to come.
Image credit: 
Narrows Bridge Collapse, Harbor History Museum Collection #2786 (Photographer: J. Bashford)
About Harbor History Museum: Harbor History Museum creates opportunities to experience the heritage of the greater Gig Harbor communities by collecting, preserving, and sharing the rich history of the area. Our vision is to be the cornerstone that provides a gathering place and a sense of identity for our community. Founded in 1964, the Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society dba Harbor History Museum opened its new facility in 2010. The museum campus includes an 1893 fully restored one-room school house; a 65-foot fishing vessel currently under restoration; 7,000 square feet of exhibition space; and a 900-square foot library, research and meeting room. The Museum provides a variety of public education programs. Our core educational program is the Pioneer School Experience (PSE), which serves over 1,400 students every year. Led by a trained “School Marm,” the children experience a pioneer school classroom complete with lessons, recitations, music, recess, and lunch. Our permanent exhibit features professionally designed exhibitions, larger-than-life experiences, and opportunities for hands-on exploration of our region’s rich history and unique heritage. Artifacts, video kiosks, hands-on exhibits, computer interactives, and a small theater bring Peninsula history to life in our permanent galleries. In addition, the Museum provides 3-5 special exhibits throughout the year so there is always something new to see and experience for our members and visitors. 
WINTER HOURS – Wednesdays–Fridays 10 am–5 pm, Saturdays 10 am–4 pm.
ADMISSION – Complimentary Admission for all visitors courtesy of the City of Gig Harbor.