Worthington Park is a beautiful multi-use facility owned by the Quilcene Historical Museum. It features ten acres of property including wide grassy meadows, unique fruit trees, a pond, a large part of the Little Quilcene River bank, an historic mansion, a vintage barn, and the Linger Longer Outdoor Theater.
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- Location: 151 East Columbia Avenue, Quilcene, WA 98376 View Map
In 2013, the Quilcene Historical Museum purchased the Worthington Mansion, historic barn, several outbuildings, and ten acres. The project’s purpose was to save a rapidly deteriorating but culturally and historically important private residence and restore it as a community asset. The Museum’s Worthington Park project has, with other new community organizations, played a major role in fostering a significant increase in community revitalization and the start of several small businesses in Quilcene.
In 1991, twelve citizens created the Quilcene Historical Museum to preserve the history of the region’s native peoples, early European and Asian settlers, and the cultural and economic development of the Olympic Peninsula. Founding museum
member and local philanthropist, Eilleen Worthington, donated a portion of her land for the museum site. In July 2011, nearing the end of her life, she offered the museum a two-year purchase option to buy her home, the 1892 Victorian Mansion, the 1915 barn, two outbuildings, and ten acres, some bordering the Little Quilcene River. Thus began a Five Phase project called Worthington Park.
In January 2014, the Hamilton-Worthington House was given Washington State and later National Historic Trust historic designation. The Hamilton-Worthington mansion is the only remaining house of its size, integrity, and cultural relevance in rural Jefferson County.
The needs of our unique community, while improving, are still challenging. In 2000 the per capita income in Quilcene was $17,335; in 2013 it had increased to $30,070. The estimated median household income in 2000 was $40,385; in 2013 it was $48,280. (Source: City-data.com.) In 1970 there were 5 gas stations, 2 grocery stores, 5 cafes/restaurants at the start of the decline in the timber industry. By 1991, when the museum was founded, there was 1 gas station, 2 cafes, and 1 local food store.
Today, despite the economic crash of 2008, there is a new gas station and expanded grocery store (with community members as investors), a Habitat for Humanity store, and more than a few either expanded or new businesses. No single organization can bring back a town, but the Museum’s purchase of Worthington Park clearly offers new energy and opportunities in Quilcene.
Worthington Park events support many small businesses. Pertaining directly to Worthington Park, one wedding held there in July of 2014 brought 280 guests and additional sales and service to 27 local businesses in Quilcene and Jefferson County. Based on tracking data of visitors to the museum, to Worthington Park, and to the Linger Longer Stage and meadow, which are available for public rental. There are summer concerts, family gatherings, club meetings, museum events, and the half marathon, the number of visitors has increased from 976 people in 2012, to 2,705 in 2015 from 65 WA State cities, 19 U.S. states, and 5 foreign countries. We plan to reach a 3,000 visitor count in 2016.