Grapeview, Case Inlet

Grapeview, Case Inlet

by | Apr 16, 2019

Grapeview is a community located on the western shore at the head of Case Inlet in South Puget Sound, Washington. Grapeview was historically named Detroit, part of a rural community that included Allyn, Stretch Island, and Reach Island.

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver and Lieutenant Peter Puget were the first Europeans to explore Puget Sound. In 1841, the American naval officer Charles Wilkes named Stretch Island for gunner’s mate Samuel Stretch. Lambert Evans was the first settler in Grapeview arriving in 1872. He was a veteran of the Confederate Army from Florida and purchased 40 acres on Stretch Island, later filing homestead papers for an additional 172 acres. He planted grapevines and fruit trees and sold his crops by rowing 23 miles (37 km) to Olympia and 21 miles (34 km) to Steilacoom. In 1885, the Detroit Land Improvement Company acquired land with a vision to develop a large city named Detroit. Several acres opposite Reach Island were platted into building lots. The land development was successful for about a year with a sawmill, two saloons, and a new hotel. Although the dream eventually faded, the townsite retained the name Detroit. More settlers arrived and by 1893 the community organized a school district, and in 1922 the name was changed to Grapeview to better reflect the surrounding agricultural community.

Case Inlet runs in a northerly direction from the Nisqually Reach and separates the Key Peninsula on the east side of the inlet from the Kitsap Peninsula on the west side. From the 1870s to 1924, before an interconnected road network was built, Case Inlet steamboats served the many small communities along the shore in southern Puget Sound. Vessels employed on Case Inlet were generally smaller and engaged in general-purpose work, such as the transport of passengers, construction supplies, and groceries. Small steamboats were constructed at Case Inlet ports, such as E.M. Gill, built at Vaughn in 1895, and Detroit, built at Grapeview in 1889. In 1924, Ariel made the last steamer run from Tacoma to Allyn. Read more here and here. Explore more of Grapeview and Case Inlet here:

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