Old oyster house will be moved to port’s waterfront lot

By Arla Shephard, January 22, 2015, Kitsap Sun


The old Sargent’s oyster house is making its way to its new (temporary) home.


Visitors to the Port of Allyn or the Allyn Waterfront Park might notice a new structure on the lower parking lot of the port’s premises, where the old oyster house is scheduled to be relocated.


“Slowly, but surely, it’s getting moved,” said Port of Allyn board member Judy Scott, who has taken the lead on the project following the port’s dismissal of executive director Rusty Bonser. “We are hoping to have it moved the week of Jan. 20.”


After years of unsuccessful attempts to revitalize the more than 60-year-old oyster processing facility, Port of Allyn officials struck a deal last year with state officials to preserve the historic landmark from destruction.


Clem and Dee Sargent owned and operated the oyster house for more than 40 years, and the facility is now one of the few remaining unaltered oyster houses of its type on Puget Sound, according to the state’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.


The building will move from its location on North Bay Road, on property owned by the Department of Fish & Wildlife, to the Port of Allyn’s property.


Fish & Wildlife sold the building to the port for $1, and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group is responsible for the costs to move the oyster house, according to a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state Historic Preservation Officer, the salmon enhancement group, Fish & Wildlife and the port.


The port obtained a county building/storage permit to house the facility on Jan. 12, and Everett-based company Nickel Brothers has been contracted to perform the move.


After the building is relocated, the port will start the process of forming a citizen advisory group to determine where the building should be permanently located and what to do with the oyster house, which would likely include a remodel.


“There were several community members who wanted to see it kept for its historical value,” Scott said. “As a port, we are also focused on economic impact. If we are able to use the building for maybe retail or museum purposes, I could see that happening.”


For now, the building won’t be open to the public and will be fenced. Port of Allyn staff will maintain and clean the area in and around the building.


Scott is aware of grants that are available for remodeling the historic structure.


“The next step is to gather the community,” she said. “That will happen right away. If anyone is interested, let us know.”


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