Jefferson County Spotlight

County Seat

Port Townsend

Incorporation Date


Form of Government

General Law

More County Statistics

County Biography

Densely forested and surrounded by the coast on two sides, Jefferson County boasts some of the state’s most beautiful scenery and offers a robust and well-rounded economy, with both industrial and agricultural industries flourishing in the county. With over half of the county territory belonging to the Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest, Jefferson County hosts a variety of tourist activities, including fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and sightseeing—it is even home the “World’s Largest Red Cedar” located near Kalaloch. The Jefferson County seat, Port Townsend, features an active port as well as the county’s largest paper mill, both of which represent a large portion of the county’s economy. Port Townsend, the largest city in the county, also benefits from tourism brought about by town development and the county’s expanding organic farming industry, which provides artisan cheeses and breads for tourists to sample.

Rich with natural resources, Jefferson County’s economy has historically relied on industries like logging, fishing, farming, and related manufacturing and processing businesses. While the significance of these industries has declined with the growth of tourism, Jefferson County still engages in natural resource extraction and processing, with the Port Townsend paper mill employing the greatest number of people in the county. Jefferson County benefits from the diversity of its economy and continues to grow, especially with the flourishing of its tourism industry.