Founded in 1851, the town of Port Gamble, Washington was established to house the employees of the Puget Sound Mill Company. The mill and the town continued to grow and by the 1870’s it was a well established community with a general store, community center, post office and fire station. In November 1995 the mill completed its last day of production and shut its doors having gained the title of longest continuously operating mill in the United States. The town was declared a Rural Historic Town and the buildings have since been restored and preserved.
Cyrus Walker, mill superintendent from 1854 until 1888, built his home in the center of town with the front rooms facing the bay. This gave visitors arriving from the bay the best possible view of his Queen Anne style Victorian home, impressing one and all with his style and status. The home may have been built from local lumber but the stained glass and other furnishings were shipped from such glamorous locations as Boston and St Louis. When Walker retired from the mill, the home and superintendent’s position were turned over to his son-in-law Edwin Ames. This transition gave the house its hyphenated name.
Visitors to the Walker-Ames House report a variety of phenomena from feelings of dread to full bodied apparitions. Residents in the town are well aware of the building’s reputation and many are able to add their own experiences to the legend. The owner of the Port Gamble general store reported seeing the apparition of three small children through an upstairs window. There have been reports that the attic light comes on and off when there is no one in the building. A crew using the Walker-Ames home as a setting for a theatrical release reported that employees were reluctant to go into the basement alone and that one staff member had returned from the basement with a hand print on her leg after reporting that she had been grabbed. Because of these and many others stories that circulate about the Walker-Ames House, the location has been investigated by several Washington State ghost hunting clubs.
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