The Harbor History Museum’s latest exhibit shows off the tradition of sports and recreation on the Gig Harbor peninsula. It also aims to show off an important asset of the peninsula: The people that live here.
“Instant Replay: Sports and recreation on the Gig Harbor peninsula” opened over the weekend.
The exhibit includes a local hall of fame. A wall in the middle shows off a few photos of people participating in sports. The hall is an open invitation to visitors to bring by their own photos for display.
“By the end of the summer, we would like this full; top to bottom, side to side,” museum director John Ross said.
The small gallery is the latest in a series of recent displays that have focused on the museum’s local collection.
“We do have an awesome collection that not a lot of people know about,” said Michelle Paulus, the museum’s marketing director.
There’s also a display on loan from the USGA museum. Exhibit coordinator Casey Demory said the clubs are a tie to the U.S. Open, but the exhibit is not intended to capitalize on the tournament.
But that case full of clubs isn’t the only golfing presence. The museum has built a small putt putt golf course that runs through the exhibit. Visitors can grab a club and a ball at the beginning and make their way through while aiming for a hole in one.
“It’s really hands on ... to sort of interact with history,” Demory said.
Memorabilia from big name Gig Harbor athletes comprise storylines in the exhibit. The span of the exhibit is from the 1930s to 1989. There’s a reason for that, Demory said, as sports boomed in the 1990s. The museum chose to focus on the lesser known history leading up to that period.
There’s NFL wide receiver Paul Skansi, who went from Peninsula Seahawk to Seattle Seahawk. He also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. His jerseys and a signed football anchor the football section of the room.
There’s Olympic runner and Gig Harbor High graduate and former coach Patty Ley, who features prominently in the track and field section. Also in track and field is Doris Brown, now Doris Heritage, the former Peninsula Seahawk who was the first woman to run the sub-five minute mile.
But more than those marquee stars, the exhibit shows off the diversity of recreation in the area. Of course, it includes kayaking. The exhibit launched the same weekend as the Paddlers Cup. Thanks to the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Club, the museum has a mahogany kayak resting on the wall inside.
Along with submissions for the local hall of fame, the museum is also asking for any artifacts and memorabilia that visitors might want to share. The plan is the gallery will switch things up partway through its April to August run.
The exhibit is included in Harbor History Museum admission. Hours are 10 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The sports and recreation gallery will be at the museum until Aug. 23. To submit photos for the local hall of fame, contact Demory at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the museum.