BREMERTON, Wash. — The city of Bremerton was named after a guy named William Bremer. Bremer lived in Seattle, but bought up a bunch of waterfront property in what would become Bremerton.
In 1891, he sold 190 acres to the navy for $9,500 bucks. Not a bad deal. What the Navy probably didn’t tell Bremer, is that they had been scouting out that spot for a Navy base long before that.
“That actually dates back to the 1870s, “said Megan Churchwell, Curator of Bremerton’s Puget Sound Naval Museum.
“There was a Navy lieutenant, who was surveying the region, and noticed that Puget Sound– in Bremerton specifically– had a mild climate, nice, deep, natural harbors and natural resources, like timber, that would be good for a shipyard.”
Tucked away in Sinclair Inlet, this location also offered security against an attack at sea. in 1892, the first drydock at the puget sound naval shipyard was completed. The Navy Yard as it used to be known, played a key role for the pacific fleet in world war one, building warships and repairing damaged ones.
During world war two, the shipyard had literally tons of work to do, including repairs on five battleships, battered by the attack at pearl harbor.
“They got nicknamed ‘The Ghost Fleet’,” Churchwell explains, “because Japan had declared them sunk in the attack but they came back to haunt the Japanese through the entire war.”
Today, the shipyard employs 13-thousand people, and repairs every class of military craft, from submarines to aircraft carriers, with over a thousand different facilities, six drydocks of varying sizes, and cranes that can lift up to 200-thousand pounds!