Gateway: Living

Museum shares history buried in the oyster beds

In its next Buried History program, the Harbor History Museum will dig into the rich history of Japanese oyster farms on the peninsula.

Eiichi “Jerry” Yamashita will share his personal history as an oysterman. He’ll be joined by author Ron Magden.

The talk runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive.

Born in 1923, Yamashita began working in his father’s oyster bed at age 13. He later went on to start the Western Oyster Company and has worked in the industry for more than 65 years. Yamashita and his wife, Dorcas, live in Seattle.

Yamashita’s family mementos will be on display during the museum’s happy hour.

Magden is a labor historian, professor and author of eight books. His books include “Furusoto Tacoma-Pierce County Japanese, 1888-1977,” “History of Seattle Japanese;” and “Candyman: History of Brown and Haley.”

The oyster talk is part of the continuing Buried History series put on by the Harbor History Museum. Previously, the series has featured a history of the fishing community and a trip to the graveyard.

The series wraps up in October with a creepy tale about Starvation Heights in Olalla.

Tickets to Buried History are $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members

For tickets to the upcoming talk or for other programs, visit or call 253-858-6722.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155