Minter is a community on the northwestern shore of Henderson Bay, at the head of Carr Inlet in South Puget Sound, about 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Seattle and 5.5 miles (9 km) northwest of Gig Harbor, Washington. In 1792, this area was first explored by Lieutenant Peter Puget of the Vancouver expedition while charting the area for the British Government. In 1841, Henderson Bay was named by Charles Wilkes, commander of the United States Exploring Expedition, after James Henderson, who served as quartermaster. Wilkes also named Carr Inlet to honor Overton Carr, one of the expedition’s officers.
Minter was a community named after the Minter family who came from Nebraska and first lived in Horsehead Bay on the east side of Carr Inlet in 1882. Disappointed with the lack of food and deep forest at that time, they moved to Minter the following year to pursue better farming. They got along well with the Native American population who frequently camped on the spit and dried salmon or collected shellfish and berries depending on the season. By 1884, several other families had moved here and Lucinda Minter began a school in her home. George Minter built a hotel in 1888, and by the turn of the century, Minter had a steamer dock, logging railway, saloon, blacksmith shop, shingle mill, social hall, brick kiln, and several stores. An oyster farm was started in 1931 and a salmon research hatchery was built in 1937.
During World War I, several shipyards in Puget Sound were building relief ships to transport food to Europe. When the war ended in November 1918 many of the ships were still under construction. Many were subsequently surplussed and towed to Lake Washington Ship Canal or anchored in Lake Union. In 1926, several surplus ships were towed into Henderson Bay, rafted together on the Minter sand spit, and also at Penrose sand spit and in Mayo Cove, and then burned. The ships burned for months and some floated away and sank in Carr Inlet. Almost 100 years later, the remains of at least four vessels are still visible during very low tides at Minter. Read more here and here. Explore more of Minter here: