On older maps it is shown as Fuca or De Fuca, the latter once being the name of the post office. It was named for Charles Agnew, a farmer and logger, who settled there in 1865.
The Dungeness area Aircraft Warning Services Observation Tower stands near Agnew and is a rare reflection of the role of civilian volunteers in protecting American security and contributing to the home front war effort during World War II.
In response to the threat of air attacks, residents of the Dungeness area joined together to build the observation tower and then manned it around the clock for two years, reporting aircraft activity to “filter centers” in Seattle and Port Angeles. Constructed shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, the tower was under the supervision of chief observer Jean Dick Cook on whose property it was built.
Cook and her several hundred volunteers were mostly women (as were the civilian volunteers at the centers where the observations were plotted) and they kept the warning system in full operation around the clock until October, 1943. Although other towers have been dismantled or fallen into disrepair, the Dungeness tower remained intact and served as a civil Defense tower in the 1950s. In December 1992, 51 years after its construction, the tower was moved to a nearby site in order to ensure its continued preservation.