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Tracyton christens its new bench

A group of Tracyton area residents and others gathered at the new bench at the Tracyton dock on Saturday to welcome kayakers to their area. - Leslie Kelly
A group of Tracyton area residents and others gathered at the new bench at the Tracyton dock on Saturday to welcome kayakers to their area.
— image credit: Leslie Kelly

It's not just an artistic bench that's been added at the Tracyton dock. It's the spirit of things to come.

As part of a bigger plan to bring folks back to Tracyton, residents and Tracyton Port Commissioners met Saturday at the Port of Tracyton to christen a new visitors viewing bench. The bench, which is really more a piece of art than somewhere to sit, marks a desire by the locals to put Tracyton back on the map.

"Someone told me that something needed to be done in Tracyton," said William Mooney, chairman of the Port of Tracyton. "At first, I kinda laughed because look out there at what we have," he said pointing to the view. "How can you improve on that?"

But, Mooney said, it then dawned on him that adding to the dock could create an environment where people could come to better enjoy the view. So, he and others got started on plans to place a bench.

"This is our idea of where we'd like to head," he said. "We can do good stuff down here."

The bench was made possible by then volunteer work of Richard Larvia, who made the portion where people sit, and Dave Tarver, who sculpted the back of the bench.

"I came to a port meeting and heard them talking about the bench idea," said Larvia. "Later, I ran into Bill (William Mooney) at the bar and I told him, 'if you're going to do it, do it nice.'"

Larvia got a napkin and began to draw a mountain scene with a whale jumping out of the water.

"I told Bill I can do part of it, but I needed to call my friend who has the equipment to do the artwork," Larvia said.

That friend was Tarver who used a computer program to enhance the napkin drawing and then made the metal backing for the bench. The mountain skyline on the bench is that of the Olympic Mountains as seen at the Tracyton dock.

On hand Saturday was John Kuntz, owner of Olympic Outdoor Center, who kayaked in from the waterfront in Silverdale.

He said the improvements at the Tracyton dock will be inviting to kayakers and canoers.  "This is a gateway to your community," he said. "We live in a destination area for paddlers. You're inviting them here to Tracyton."

Kuntz said he is working with the port to bring back Tracyton Days which traditionally has been held the first weekend in June. The port hopes to have a paddle-in in coming years where visitors will dock and picnic or eat at the local cafe and tavern.

"I can see you adding a map over there that shows them where to go for food and beer," he said.

Port commissioners are expecting to work on the surrounding area by adding places where kayaks can be left and more easily loaded on and off of vehicles. They hope to have a picnic area and they are working to let people know about a public park that is just a few blocks away.

Port Commissioner Brian Davison said he is a second generation business owner and has been in the area for 35 years.

"It's a honor to be a part of this upgrade," he said.

And commissioners noted that most of the work was accomplished through volunteer efforts.

"This only cost us about $1,000 of port money," said Commissioner Ted Hilliard. "Ninety percent of the cost was donated. That's a really special thing."

 

 

 

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