A haunting history at the Palace Hotel in Port Townsend


In the heart of historic Port Townsend, where Victorian buildings stand stately along Water Street, there is one such building with its own colorful past. The Palace Hotel.

Built in 1889 by retired sea captain Henry L. Tibbals, this landmark housed many businesses throughout its years, from a billiard parlor and saloon to a town newspaper. The more well-renowned proprietorship to call this building home lived here from 1925-1933. It, too, was named the Palace Hotel, better nicknamed the Palace of Sweets, as it operated as both a hotel and a brothel.

Today, the current incarnation of the Palace Hotel pays homage to those good ‘ole days. A step back in time is the slogan displayed in the lobby — a room furnished in the turn of the 20th-century style. In fact, everything inside the Palace Hotel has been renovated in the old Victorian motif. Even the 16 rooms, named for the girls who once worked there, reflect the essence of their time and their world.(Image:Richard Schmitz)

Rumor has it, some of the girls never completely left after the brothel was shut down in the mid-1930s.

This time of year, there is a small pilgrimage to these historical buildings of Port Townsend, for lore of a different kind. The tales sought after are of the spirit world, and yes, everything which goes bump in the night.

The Lady in Blue

The Palace Hotel hosts a few permanent guests, so the story goes, who come out at night, sometimes to mingle with the living….

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