Jefferson County Parks and Recreation
Register Now

Irondale Beach Park - Irondale Beach Park History


12 am
1 am
2 am
3 am
4 am
5 am
6 am
7 am
8 am
9 am
10 am
11 am
12 pm
1 pm
2 pm
3 pm
4 pm
5 pm
6 pm
7 pm
8 pm
9 pm
10 pm
11 pm
Irondale Beach Park
Irondale Beach Park History

= Unavailable     = Available

Facility Area Information

562 Moore St
Port Hadlock, WA 98339

Glacier History

Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Geologic Province - Olympic Mountains

The alpine glaciers that nest year round high in the Olympic Mountains are relicts of the recent ice age, which began about 2 million years ago. During the last ice advance about 15,000 years ago, a large sheet of ice, called the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, moved down from western Canada and into Washington. The ice sheet crept southward into the northern Puget Sound region and bumped up against the Olympics, where it split into two lobes. One lobe went out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca toward the Pacific Ocean, and the Puget Lobe moved south and filled what is now the Puget Lowland. Deposits from this glaciation can be found on the eastern and northern edges of this province.

The ice sheet sculpted the land and deposited massive amounts of sediment along the northern and eastern edges of the mountain range to elevations of about 1,500 feet. Some of the rocks that the glaciers carried are as large as houses. About 13,000 years ago, the world became warmer and the ice began to melt. The Cordilleran ice sheet retreated (melted away towards the north) and the alpine glaciers that covered the Olympics mostly disappeared.
In summer, the water that melts from the remaining alpine glaciers contains loads of silt, sand, and gravel supplied by the glaciers. When there is abundant sediment in the water, the river cuts through the rock much faster than rivers not fed by glaciers (kind of like sandpaper).

Vashon glacier begins to melt and recede from Puget Sound region and Columbia Basin around 16,900 years ago.
By Jennifer Ott Posted 9/24/2012 Essay 5087
"As the ice sheet receded, meltwater formed Glacial Lake Russell. This drained via the Chehalis River Valley and the Chimacum Valley until the Juan de Fuca Lobe receded and marine water entered the lowlands and filled the ice-sheet-carved troughs."

Washington State Department of Natural Resources:
Interactive Map of The Cordilleran Ice Sheet: Glacial Lakes of the Puget Lobe

Native Land
A selection of Pacific Northwest Native Plants: Traditional and Modern Harvest and UseA Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Publication
This booklet includes only a small sampling of the many plants and animals that were eaten, used in medicines, and employed for many other utilitarian purposes by Coast Salish peoples. 

Native Plants PNW: Western Red Cedar, Thuja Plicata
A review of the growing requirements and cultural use by people (and wildlife).

Jamestown S'klallam Tribe: House of Seven GenerationsThis “virtual museum” site allows Indian and non-Indian communities to learn about and appreciate the cultural and historical lifeways that came before the present time by viewing imagery from those times.

Quileute Nation: History
The history of the Quileute Tribe, who, according to legend, are the only kindred to the Chimakum Tribe. 

Native Storytelling Festival: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves
Chris Morganroth, a Quileute elder, tells traditional stories geared towards kids and families. 

The Papers of John Peabody Harrington
John P. Harrington was an American linguist and ethnologist who compiled the vocabulary of the last known Chimacum speakers. These are the scanned pages of his journal.

Emanuel Manis finds mastodon tusks in Sequim on August 8, 1977.
Article by Laura Arksey

"Irondale, just north of Port Hadlock, was so named because a large iron ore smelter was built there in 1879. Samuel Hadlock, along with other local businessmen, created the Puget Sound Iron Company. The plant employed some 400 men and produced high-quality iron, which was shipped primarily to San Francisco.

The plant closed in 1889, but was reopened several years later as the Western Steel Company. The president of Western Steel was James A. Moore, president of the Moran Brothers Shipbuilding Company in Seattle, which built the battleship USS Nebraska in 1901. Western Steel was supposed to be instrumental in building a railroad from Port Townsend to Portland, Oregon, and there was speculation that Moran Brothers might also establish a shipyard.

In 1909, the City of Irondale, one square mile platted in May, had a population of 1,500 and plans were made to accommodate a population of 20,000 within three years. One year later, the town the had a bank, a newspaper, three hotels, two brick buildings, 30 businesses, a hospital, scores of new houses, graded streets, electricity, telephones, a water and sewer system, and no unemployment. The steel mill, working around the clock, was producing approximately 700 tons of steel per week. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer declared in 1910 that Irondale had the potential “of becoming the largest and most important manufacturing city in Western America.”

But suddenly in 1911, Western Steel declared bankruptcy, causing Irondale’s collapse. After a brief period of operation during World War I (1917-1919) to use up stockpiled raw materials, the plant was dismantled. Today, Irondale is basically a residential area for the Port Hadlock Tri-Area."

Excerpt from:

Jefferson County — Thumbnail History

By Daryl C. McClary
Posted 9/26/2005 Essay 7472

Jefferson County Historical Society's Port Hadlock & Irondale photo collection

Library of Congress: Irondale Iron & Steel Plant, Port Townsend, Jefferson County, WA
Photos from Survey HAER WA-7

Community Cultural Resource Survey- Irondale Historic District, Feb 1983
PDF document

Book: The Iron and Steel Industry in the Far West: Irondale, Washington by Diane F. Britton

Modern Day Park
Department of Ecology, State of Washington: Irondale Iron & Steel Plant
Department of Ecology's cleanup proposal for Irondale Beach

Jefferson County Celebrates Irondale Park Restoration
GeoEngineers article

Cultural Resources Assessment for the Irondale Iron and Steel Plant Historic District Remediation and Restoration Project - Northwest Archaeological Associates/SWCA

We would like to extend our thanks to those listed below for helping Jefferson County Parks & Rec with this project.

• Matt Tyler, Parks Manager
• Chelsie Kilmer, Jefferson County Administrative Clerk
• Bobbee Davidson, Admin Clerk
• Kate Dean, County Commissioner
• Tim Ransema, JCPRAB member
• Stephanie Earls, Washington Geology Librarian
• Ellie DiPietro, Research Center Director, Archivist, and Exhibitions, Jeff Co Historical Society
• Tara McCauley, Director of Education and Public Programs, Jeff Co Historical Society
• Susan Schnur | Publications Group Manager
Washington Geological Survey | Department of Natural Resources
• David Brownell, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
• Daniel Coe | Graphics Editor
Washington Geological Survey | Department of Natural Resources
• SEAN LANKSBURY, Special Collections Librarian
Washington State Library | Office of the Secretary of State
• Andrea Hergert
Librarian I – Information Services/Cataloging
Jefferson County Library
• Malloree Weinheimer- Chickadee Forestry
• Rio Jaime
Quileute Tribal Council, Treasurer
• James Jaime, Quileute Tribe elder
• Jay Powell, Prof. Emeritus of the Univ. of B.C. and has worked with the elders of the Quileutes since 1969.
• Ole Kilmer, long time Irondale resident

Reservations & Activities

Click on an activity name for details or the date for the activity schedule.


Program Event Teams Date Time
There are no activities happening on the selected dates.