This 40-acre park is on the former site of Port Blakely Mill, one of the world’s largest sawmills in the late 1800’s. This park will be developed for passive recreational use such as picnicking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.
On December 15, 1999, the initial 20-acre parcel was purchased by the Bainbridge Island Park District from Port Blakely Tree Farms, following several years of negotiations by the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, the Park District, and other island volunteers to preserve this historically significant property. The purchase was made possible through a grant from the Recreation Conservation Office, $1 million raised through Land Trust volunteer fundraising efforts, and support from the City of Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County.
An additional 18 acres was purchased in November 2001, increasing the total Blakely Harbor Park acreage to 40 acres.
In the late 1800’s, the property was the site of Port Blakely Mill, one of the world’s largest sawmills. The mill closed over 70-years ago and nature has reclaimed much of the area making it uniquely suited for a waterfront park.
Yama is the 7-acre portion of Blakely Harbor Park that was once the site of the Japanese community associated with Blakely’s lumber mill era and an important aspect joined with other local and immigrant labor endeavors that helped make Blakely a significant 19th century community. The Bainbridge Island Historical Society is currently working on a preservation plan for this historically and archeaologically significant portion of the park.
The park property is divided into three zones: Zone 1, the area of the most intense use, may contain, among other things, single-story structures, restrooms, boardwalks, picnic and beach facilities, a parking area and a launch for human-powered boats. Zone 2 may contain decks, footbridges, small wildlife viewing structures, wildlife habitat restoration structures, interpretive displays and picnic areas. Zone 3 will be a protected area with primitive facilities, and may include trails, pathways and interpretive signs.