While in the Puget Sound, Captain Charles Wilkes sought shelter from a heavy storm in 1840. This led his Captain's gig (small long boat) into the harbor for protection. Later, with the publication of Wilkes' 1841 map of the Oregon Territory, he named the sheltered bay Gig Harbor.
Boat building and commercial fishing played a major role in the development of the area, but also proved to be an agricultural center, including logging and lumber, and Native American fishing grounds. The town was later incorporated in 1946.
The current population of 9,065, as well as many tourists, enjoy fine dining, shopping at unique botiques and mild climate.
Gig Harbor is not to be missed on your tour of Western Washington's Puget Sound towns.