Built in 1890, the Bishop Block was constructed by William Bishop Sr., one of the most famous pioneers in early Jefferson County.
William Bishop and his British Navy companion, William Eldridge, abandoned ship near Victoria during the Crimean War. They paid a local Native American man 50 cents to row them across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Dungeness Spit, and from there, hiked to Port Townsend. Here they met early settler Loren Hastings, who hired them to work on his farm near the present-day site of the Port Townsend Golf Course.
Shortly after, Mr. Bishop established a cheese and dairy business and sold his products in Port Townsend, making the day-long trip by horse and wagon. Bishop was also the first farmer in the area to grow hops.
In 1889, Mr. Bishop retired to Port Townsend, where he became a leading Port Townsend builder, including the erection of the Bishop Block building. He operated the Bishop Block for several years, originally intending to have offices on the upper floors, until the economic decline of the 1890s took away the demand.
At this point in time, the Bishop Block was sold to the Owl Cigar Company which continued to rent out the street level offices and used the upper levels as a tobacco storage and distribution facility.
In 1940, the U.S. Navy acquired the building and converted it into a rooming house for WWII civilian workers.
In 1980, the Bishop Block was opened for the first time as a hotel by Mr. and Mrs. John Pickett. The Bishop was later bought by Cindy and Joe Finnie in the 1990’s, who lovingly restored the building to reflect the Victorian period in which Port Townsend originated from; most of the period pieces gracing the hotel were purchased locally.
In September 2020, six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica Jennings and Eric Wennberg purchased The Bishop Hotel from Cindy and Joe Finnie. They are bringing a new perspective to the hotel, updating the hotel and gardens with a modern look and feel. In 2021, Bishop Block Bottle Shop – the hotel’s newest wine bar – was born.
I experienced a serendipitous upgrade to a king suite with a natural-gas fireplace, a gorgeous bedroom, and a kitchenette. The rooms were immaculately clean, and the staff is friendly. The location and Victorian charm are also appreciated. The hotel is walking distance from Water Street and Hudson Point.
“The views from our rooms were incredible! Pictures just don’t do it justice. This place is a mix of cozy charm and modern convenience. We will be recommending this place to everyone we know!”
“Clean, cozy, and comfortable! We picked this place on a whim and were so impressed with everything. From a quick and easy check-in to a spotless room, it was everything we expected.”
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