Low tide reveals remnants of Bainbridge mill town

The lowest tide I’ve ever seen at Blakely Harbor revealed some interesting remnants of the Port Blakely mill town that bustled in the harbor a century ago.

On Wednesday, a rarely-seen blanket of water-logged lumber was visible on large portion of Blakely Harbor Park’s beach. Not sure why it forms a zig-zag pattern. Any ideas?

Head down below to see a few more low-tide curiosities.


Here’s metal hook with a brightly-rusted tip.

And here’s part of an old shoe. No idea how old it is or whether it washed in from some other place.

I once visited a Blakely Harbor resident who lives in what was once the home of the mill town’s cobbler. He regularly finds old heels and leather shoe bits on the beach.

7 thoughts on “Low tide reveals remnants of Bainbridge mill town

  1. Where EXACTLY was this mill?
    I tried to find it via google earth but I do not know where to look

  2. I grew up on Taylor Ave and have never seen the tide that low in my entire life. I spent most summers playing around that beach. Totally amazing to see it like this!

  3. The herringbone pattern in the wood debris is presumably because it used to be part of the mill decking and/or the mill floor itself. The mill would have had a considerable over-water footprint. Great photo!

  4. Maybe they dammed the bay and layed this flooring on the seabed to prevent logs from getting stuck in the mud while being brought ashore (especially at lower tides). The herringbone pattern would help the logs slide better and not jam up.

  5. I got some good insight from island historian Jerry Elfendahl today. He says much of the town was built on wharfs over the water. Worms and rot took out the untreated pilings fairly quickly, sending the largely intact wharf platforms into the the harbor. Covered in silt and deprived of air, the platforms have been well-preserved for a very long time.


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