Booking Poulsbo’s past times

POULSBO — A new read in town will now allow locals to learn about North Kitsap’s past.

While helping preserve it in the future.

Copies of “Poulsbo Past Times” are now available at various locations. The publication, a 16-chapter look at the history of Poulsbo and its neighbors, is a Rotary Foundation fund-raiser for the Poulsbo/North Kitsap Historical Society’s bid to build a museum on Jensen Way.

About 500 of the total 1,000 books arrived from the printer June 10 and the first copy was given to outgoing Rotary President Todd Tidball Friday to mark the occasion.

“He was our very first supporter,” explained Roger Meyer, who spearheaded the efforts.

With 1,000 copies ordered, Meyer said he hopes to sell out and make $15,000 from the endeavor. Of that, about 10 percent ($1,500 if the book sells out) is planned to support Olympic College scholarships while the rest will support the Poulsbo Historical Society’s bid for a museum. Both donations will be made through the Rotary Foundation.

Meyer said the idea for the history book actually came from Liberty Bay Books owner Suzanne Droppert. Two years ago, Meyer was trying to sell copies of a Rotary cookbook as a fund-raiser for the club’s $100,000 pledge to Olympic College.

“I went into Liberty Bay Books and the owner told me that cookbooks are a dime a dozen,” Meyer recalled. “She said, ‘What we need is a history of Poulsbo.’”

Since then, Meyer has been slowly gathering support for the effort. Drawing inspiration from Rangvald Kvelstad’s book “Poulsbo, Its First 100 Years,” Meyer found historical figures to retell parts of the area’s past. What he originally envisioned as a single story about Poulsbo eventually blossomed into 16 chapters including:

•An account from architect Dick Prine on the architecture of downtown Poulsbo

•Features on the Suquamish and S’Klallam tribes, including comments from Marilyn Jones of the Suquamish Museum

•A history of Olympic College from Randy Lawrence and Kelly Woodward

•A month-by-month events listing and walking tours of Poulsbo and Port Gamble from Peg Tillery

•Recollections of living at the Martha & Mary Children’s Home from Archie Lien

•Norwegian recipes from Earl and Norma Hanson and Phil Rasmussen

The book also includes introductions from Jeff Tolman and Ralph Munro and a number of historical photos donated by the Poulsbo and Kitsap County historical societies. Meyer credited his contributors, both historical societies, Jim Nall from Paladin Data Systems and his partner Sydney Cotton for making the dream a reality.

“I haven’t lived here a long time but I do love Poulsbo and I think there’s some really poignant stories in these 16 chapters,” Meyer said. “Sydney and I learned so much more about Poulsbo than we ever thought we would.”

Publication of “Poulsbo Past Times” #was sponsored by Frontier bank, Tim Ryan Construction, Gresham Well Drilling, Bill Austin, Liberty Bay Books, the Clearwater Casino, Suquamish Museum, Port Gamble Museum, North Kitsap Herald, Central Market, the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce and the Marine Science Center. Partnered with donations of time and talent from local writers and historians, Meyer said sponsors have helped keep overhead costs down.

“Since we have all of this sponsor support, every dollar will go toward the museum, which was the whole thrust of it,” Meyer said. “It’s going to be a really fun book to release. It’s been a real labor of love.”

“Poulsbo Past Times” will be available for sale at Liberty Bay Books, the Clearwater Casino gift shop, Suquamish Museum, Port Gamble Museum, North Kitsap Herald, Central Market, the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce and the Marine Science Center. Cost is $15, except at Liberty Bay Books where tax must be added. Book signings are also being planned in the near future at sponsor locations, civic group meetings and other gatherings.

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