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Port Madison

This community was once a leading saw milling center but is now a residential area of country homes on a narrow arm of Port Madison bay on the north end of Bainbridge Island. It was named by the Wilkes Expedition in 1841 for President James Madison and stirred to life in 1853, when G. W. Meigs came from San Francisco and set up a sawmill. The great demand for lumber in early days, with prices reaching from $200 to $500 per 1,000 board feet, led to a continued expansion of the plant and the addition of a foundry, machine shop, and shipyard. For decades Port Madison thrived, and in 1861 it was voted the seat of Kitsap County, a distinction it later lost in one of the hottest political fights in county annals. The tranquil, somewhat New England-like harbor has attracted significant attention as a residential enclave resulting in large, elaborate houses that peek out to the water from all angles.