Gentle House Beginnings

Gentle House is 131 years old, located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood. It is of the first homes in Port Angeles, built by local PA pioneers, Fred and Lillie Poole, who operated Poole’s Bakery on Front Street and Oak in the 1890’s, before the raising of the city, and through the 1920s. 

The house rests at one of the highest points in Port Angeles, above the largest pre-European contact site in the state of Washington. Resting in the protected space of Ediz Hook, of what is now Port Angeles Harbor, the village of Tse-whit-zen (pronounced ch-WHEET-son) flourished for over 2,700 years. The earliest confirmed settlement at Tse-whit-zen dates back to 750 B.C. — approximately the same time Rome was founded.

European settlers arrived sometime in the 1850s. The Puget Sound Cooperative Colony was founded in May of 1887, just east of town at the mouth of Ennis Creek.  The colony was founded on the principle that people could improve themselves and their lot in life through cooperation and unity.  They issued their own money and distributed it to the colonists every few months. The Colony survived for only a few years, but the energetic and committed settlers it attracted played a major role in the rise of Port Angeles. A village of 300 in 1886, Port Angeles’ population grew to 3,000 by 1890. 

President Abraham Lincoln  designated 3,520 acres (1,424 ha) at Port Angeles as a federal reserve for lighthouse, military and naval purposes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers platted a federal town site on the reserve land, laying out the street plan which still exists today. The fact that Washington, D.C., was the only other city officially laid out by the federal government led the U.S. Board of Trade in 1890 to dub Port Angeles the “Second National City.”

We are looking forward to learning more about this gentle lady and seeing the writing that comes out of the residencies she nurtures. Watch this space as we learn more about her history, and make new memories!


Gentle House supports writers by offering a quiet sustaining space that facilitates the focus needed for generating creativity in writing, music, and playwriting.