Originally a Coast Guard station, the Westport Maritime Museum stands in the heart of Westport's Marina District and speaks to the rich history of Washington's South Beach area, which is the cultural center of the region and home to the annual Westport Seafood Festival and Craft Show.
Constructed in 1939, the station housed as many as 20 enlisted men and officers, and its classic Nantucket-style architecture is quintessential maritime design that was popular in the era. By 1973, however, the Westport Coast Guard had increased to 50 personnel and had outgrown the functionality of the station. In 1976 the grounds and building were transitioned to ownership by the City of Westport.
Now the station is maintained and operated by the Westport/South Beach Historical Society as a maritime museum displaying a bounty of historic, unique, and iconic artifacts representative of the region. Highlights include exhibits on the general history of the area, the shipwrecks around Grays Harbor, the whaling and fishing economy of past and present, the local cranberry industry, and the original Fresnel lens from the Destruction Island Lighthouse. The Display House also contains the skeletons of a gray whale, a sea lion, and a porpoise.
The museum is open Friday through Monday (12 P.M to 4 P.M.) during the off-season and 7 days a week (10 A.M. to 4 P.M.) during the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day). The Westport Seafood Festival and Craft Show also includes food, beer, and wine, and live music is held at the end of August. Call 360.268.9422 for specific dates and more details.
Note: Group tours of the Westport Maritime Museum and Grays Harbor Light Station can be arranged by calling 360.268.0078.