Black Historical Society of Kitsap County, Inc.

Kitsap Black Pioneers Sinclair Park Project Mission Lillian Walker Veterans League Women Voters Contact Blog

Early Kitsap Black Pioneers

  • 1857-John Garrison, first African American Pioneer
  • 1894-Nathaniel Sargent, “Justice of Peace” of Seabeck WA
  • 1896-1925 –John Henry (Dick) Turpin
  • 1897- Jane A. Ruley First African American Teacher in WA
  • Background History

    In 1857, five of the world’s largest sawmills operated on the Kitsap Peninsula. Early county census records listed Black Americans as loggers, cooks, fishermen and laborers. They came to be teachers, entrepreneurs, and homesteaders; their presence in the Northwest dating back to territorial days. Each pioneer left a legacy…a story to tell.


    Nathaniel Sargent

    1894 Nathaniel Sargent, elected “Justice of Peace” Seabeck Washington.

    Nathaniel Sargent came to Kitsap County in 1882; residing there for 72 years. He preferred a secluded life as a rancher, homesteading approximately 248 acres of land.  He gave land for the local school in the Seabeck Crosby area. Sargent, a University of Illinois graduate, was also a passionate artist and writer.

    Below: AAHKC members meet with renown artist, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (3rd lt) at the Tacoma, WA Art Museum where the artist's work was on display.

    Who Are We?

    We provide a variety of historical programs and exhibits. Examples, include but not limited to, are Kitsap Pioneers, the Sinclair Park Project which focuses on a segregated community during WWII located in Bremerton, WA, local educators past and current; black churches, military, and community organizations such as the N.A.A.C.P. We serve the local military bases and five school districts as well as organizations throughout Washington State.


    We strive to build our knowledge base which we know will positively enhance our educational programs and exhibits. Our strategy is to broaden our effectiveness through a strong commitment to educating ourselves, thus enhancing and improving our ability to serve the Kitsap community and the Pacific Northwest.


    Black Historical Society of Kitsap County, Inc.

    1204 Park Avenue

    Bremerton, WA 98337-1738