Poulsbo is a city in Kitsap County, Washington, United States and is the county’s fourth largest city as well as being one of the main suburbs in the area of Kitsap. The city is located in the northern part of the county and has a population of 9,585. The city has a long and interesting history behind it and was a popular destination for immigrants from Scandinavia, particularly Finland and Norway, which is reflected throughout the downtown area today. This has retained much of this Scandinavian influence and this particularly noticeable in the restaurants and shops.
Today, the city leaders have strived to provide an environment that meets all the needs for 21st century living while maintaining its traditional Scandinavian ambience and it was this that resulted in its nickname – “Little Norway” – as it is affectionately referred to by many Poulsbo was founded by a Norwegian immigrant named Jorgen Eliason in the 1880s, and in its early years, large numbers of Scandinavian and Norwegian immigrants settled in the area in part because of the similarities to their native countries. In 1886, the city’s first post office was built at the request of one of the early Norwegian settlers, B. Moe. He is also responsible for the city`s name, Poulsbo, which translates as Paul`s place. The city`s name was derived from the village where Moe lived during his early years and after the first post office was established in the community, Moe himself became the first postmaster. However, it was not until 18th of December 1907 that the city became officially inaugurated.
Up until World War II, the official language in Poulsbo was still Norwegian but the population of the city almost tripled in the years that followed due to an influx of English speaking inhabitants so this soon became the primary language. Later in the 20th century, this Norwegian settlement in the United States celebrated its 150th anniversary, and was visited for the first time, by King Olav V of Norway on the 22nd of October 1975. The city proved to be popular with tourists and as the town has three marinas nearby it is not surprising that the majority of visitors therefore arrived by boat. Poulsbo has also become renowned for one of its local products which are now available for sale worldwide, and this is the so-called Poulsbo Bread which was created in a local bakery.
Nowadays, Poulsbo is a city that has a lot to offer both tourists to the area and residents alike, including great schools and a college campus, making it ideal for those who may be considering moving to the area with children. From the heart of its picturesque downtown area with its quaint storefronts and exclusive gift shops to its more contemporary shopping centers in Poulsbo Village, such as the Viking Avenue and College Market Place, there is plenty to suit everyone and the Olympic Mountains are in close proximity too. There are many historic buildings and architecture within the city too like the Valborg Oyen Public Library as well as outdoor areas such as the boardwalk along Liberty Bay, perfect for a relaxing stroll or coffee with friends.