Gateway: Living

New book chronicles growth of the peninsula

On sale now at the Harbor History Museum gift shop is a new reference book by local author Jerry Eckrom.
On sale now at the Harbor History Museum gift shop is a new reference book by local author Jerry Eckrom. Staff writer

The Harbor History Museum is coming out with a new book that will detail a history of the area from 1963 to the present.

The book is a companion piece to the first volume, “An Excellent Little Bay,” which details the years of growth in the peninsula communities. Written by author Jerry Eckrom, a peninsula-area local, “An Excellent Little Bay, Vol. 2: Changing Times” uses first-person interviews, newspaper articles and archives to tell the story of the peninsula’s modern era. Historical pictures are included.

Linda McCowen was the photo editor and assistant editor of the book. She said the “Changing Times” book is a sequel to the first volume. She listed a few things that most harbor-ites will know well:

▪ Tolls on the Tacoma Narrows bridges.

▪ The opening, and history, of the Tacoma Narrows Airport.

▪ The beginnings of the Maritime Gig festival.

▪ The advent of the Fish Bowl.

There are many more chapters on all aspects of the harbor area.

The book has been in the works for about four years, McCowen said. It includes 75 interviews with locals who lived through all the events documented. It all started in 2011, when the committee that put together the book talked about a sequel for the first book about the area’s history.

“The whole (story is) of how we got to where where we are right now,” McCowen said.

The book is for sale at the museum gift shop, and Eckrom will stop by from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7 for a signing at the museum. The book is also available at Mostly Books. Books cost $18.95 and all proceeds support the museum. Funds will also help pay for the reformat of the book into an eBook.

Each chapter features a cartoon from Peninsula Gateway cartoonist Don Snowden. McCowen said his work adds to the book “because that tells the history of the harbor.”

The Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society was founded in 1964, a year after the timeframe of the book begins. The historical society operates the Harbor History Museum.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155