The charming area of Hansville is located at the northern tip of Kitsap County on Puget Sound, about 16 miles north of Poulsbo and 10 miles north of Kingston. This unincorporated waterfront community currently has a population of about 3,800 people.
Some of the first residents of Hansville were the people who tended the Point No Point Lighthouse in the mid-1800s. Many of the regional tribes were a party to the Point No Point Treaty, which was signed between the tribes and the United States in 1885. The lighthouse was constructed in 1879.
In the late 1800s, Norwegian immigrants began settling in the area, including Hans Zachariasen, for whom Hansville was reportedly named after. The name Hansville was officially adopted in 1914, at the same time the post office was moved from the lighthouse to the Hansville store.
In 1900, the Hansville Community Church was founded and eight years later, a road was built to connect Hansville to the Point No Point lighthouse. Another road in 1924 connected Hansville to Kingston and this helped develop Hansville as a popular fishing destination, famous because of the abundance of large salmon.
During this period, Hansville was still quite isolated so the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet made regular runs into town, dropping off supplies, while many of the residents still grew their own food and took advantage of the great fishing.
It was during this time that Hansville became more accessible and people from Seattle started coming over for the salmon fishing. As the Hansville-Point No Point area became more known for its salmon fishing, people began building and operating fishing resorts with multiple cabins near the beach. They also rented fishing boats on an hourly basis.
For over 50 years, sports fishing was the major business that sustained the economy of the Hansville community. Today, some of the old buildings of the fishing resort are part of the Norwegian Point Park, which is located next to the Hansgrill general store and restaurant. The restaurant is where you can order the famous Villebilly breakfast, which includes two salmon patties and two eggs, smothered in sausage gravy with hash browns.
In the early ’60s, the first residential development was built. Called Driftwood Key, it included lots for 59 new homes. By 2008, the homeowners association had grown to include over 732 properties, which is about 30 percent of all the lots in the Hansville community.
The area is busy in the summer, with tourists coming to visit Buck Lake County Park, the Norwegian County Park and, most of all, the 60-acre Point No Point Lighthouse and Park. The famous lighthouse is believed to be the oldest one on Puget Sound and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hansville today is a great place to live and has a high quality of life. The residents are very active in their community and meet often when there is a problem to be solved or project needs help to move forward.
The community is only a few minutes from downtown Poulsbo and within 30 minutes of Kingston, which is now connected to downtown Seattle by a new, passenger-only ferry. If you have not visited, you might want to take a short drive — and maybe even enjoy a great breakfast at the Hansgrill.