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Originally this picturesque fishing village was made upon mostly of a Scandinavian population and was once headquarters for a codfish fleet. The town was named by Iver Brynildsen, a pioneer resident, for the town of Poulsbomoen in Norway. A post office was established on December 6, 1886. Over time, substantial frame and brick buildings lined the main street, farms crowded into the town from the hillsides, and trawlers, seine boats, and other small fishing craft lined the long wharves and docks or swayed at anchor a short distance offshore.

Poulsbo today maintains its Norwegian heritage, cohesive downtown shopping district (Front Street) and a growing residential community. Viking Way NW, the main side road, continues northward through young evergreen forests. Salal and huckleberry mingle with brake and sword ferns in the rank undergrowth. In spring masses of delicately pink rhododendrons are bright against the dark green of the open forests.


Ca. 1950 image of codfishing schooners in Liberty Bay, showing Poulsbo in background.

Source: General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives

Ca. 1960 view of downtown Poulsbo.

Source: Washington State Historical Society