Vaughn/Home/Lakebay/Longbranch/GlenCove/Key Center


Vaughn/Home/Lakebay/Longbranch/GlenCove/Key Center

The remoteness and inherent beauty are what drew pioneers to the Key Peninsula and are what draw new residents even now. This area, called the Key Peninsula, was designated in Wilkes exploration as Indian Peninsula South End. It is nearly twenty fives miles in length by the highway that runs from Purdy to Devils Head in the south.  

It is less populated than the Gig Harbor Peninsula but it is the one area that provides large land parcels that the more populated Gig Harbor Peninsula no longer can. The Key Peninsula has been and is home to a diverse population. Since the early 1900s it has been a summer playground. In early years well-heeled Seattleites traveled by private yachts to the bays of Filucy and Joes to summer homes. Some of the most expensive waterfront properties can be found on this Peninsula because of the estate-size properties it still provides.

Diverse is this area that allowed both the social Home Colony to form to seek political freedom and the German Lutheran congregation in the Lakebay-Longbranch area to seek cultural and ethnic preservation.

Most residents built along the waterfront where water access provided both transportation and recreation. Early settlers were in search of fertile land, but found instead virgin Douglas fir forests and abundant salmon and herring. Logging and sawmills were early mainstays for employment.

Wauna was originally named Springfield. Purdy has housed a major oyster farming operation for nearly 50 years and is the last commercial center before reaching Key Center seven miles away.

Minter is home to the nationally well-known Minterbrook Oyster Company.

Key Center now provides the major shopping for Peninsula residents with a supermarket, lumber/hardware store, nursery, bank, library and other general and specialty stores. It has always been the common trading ground between GlenCove on the east and Vaughn Bay on the west.

William D Vaughn discovered the Key Peninsula when he founded Vaughn Bay in the mid 1800s. He had crossed the plains to file a homestead claim. The first post office on the Peninsula was established in Vaughn in 1882.

Platted originally as the Mutual Home Colonya socially liberal commune, when B. F. Odell and Oliver Verity founded it, Home has a new store, as well as post office and gas station. Herron community and Herron Island are closely associated with Home. Herron Islanders provide their own transportation via a ferry that runs daily. 

Taylor Bay near Longbranch was once the site of numerous sawmills. Now it is the site of numerous residents.

And early on, Shettlerow Bay provided a haven for smugglers, while later becoming the playground for Seattleites. The most famous of those summer homes is Faraway, home for the owners of the Bon Marche. Faraway has continued that heritage by more recent owners providing a facility for receptions, weddings and retreats.

Three elementary and one middle school educate the Peninsulas students while Peninsula High School at Purdy provides secondary studies. The community built the Volunteers Ball field near Key Center and the Historical Society is an active organization and sponsored a historical book Early Days of the Key Peninsula.

Unpromising potential for industrylongtime remotenessslow population trends

Scenic settingswildlife and floratranquil bays and forested places

these remain the Key Peninsulas premium endowments.


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