Gig Harbor's Skansie net shed, house listed on National Register of Historic Places

Gig Harbor Mayor Chuck Hunter announced Tuesday the City of Gig Harbor has received word that the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) has listed the Andrew & Bertha Skansie Net Shed and House on the National Register of Historic Places. According to DAHP, the Skansie Net Shed and House are historically significant as a direct link to the Gig Harbor’s fishing industry, and for its connection to the city’s Croatian heritage of many of its earliest settlers.

Peter Skansie immigrated to Gig Harbor from Croatia in 1886. He established a homestead and then convinced his family to join him, specifically his brothers Mitchell, Joseph and Andrew. Andrew was born in 1876, was a stone mason in Croatia, and arrived in Tacoma in 1907. He built the Skansie home in 1908, then the net shed in 1910. Wife Bertha joined Andrew in Gig harbor in 1909. Together, the Skansie brothers developed a shipyard. “The Skansie Shipyard was begun in the late 1880s and evolved into a major boat building establishment for the Puget Sound purse seine fishing fleet…The Skansie family would fish in the spring and summer and build boats in the winter.”1 The Skansie family owned and maintained their original property from the late 1880s to its purchase by the City of Gig Harbor in 2002. Sons of Andrew and Bertha, Anton and Vince, maintained the property from the 1960s until its sale.

The City of Gig Harbor is currently in the process of developing the net shed and surrounding property as a historic attraction, Skansie Brothers Park. Next month, the net shed will undergo a restoration of the pilings and underpinnings thanks to a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation during an American Express sponsored competition that took place throughout Western Washington in 2010. The non-profit Coastal Heritage Alliance will work with the city to provide public program and education once the net shed is stabilized for public access in 2012.

Learn more about the Skansie Net Shed at .