Port Townsend is a town that lives in the past and present. The early town leaders had hopes of creating Port Townsend to be the premier city in Western Washington. But when the railroad chose Seattle over Port Townsend their dreams ended. Today Port Townsend has as many long past resident’s still being heard and seen as it does it living residents. Maybe they are still waiting for the railroad or just don’t want to leave. Whatever the reason, their presence can still be felt everywhere.
This beautifully restored Victorian hotel is in the heart of the historic community of Port Townsend, WA. A former brothel with most rooms named after former working girls including the Madame Maries suite #4 and Miss Kittys room, room #3. Each room is uniquely decorated in a Victorian theme and furnished with antiques and collectibles.
The Palace Hotel occupies the Captain Tibbals Building. This classic three-story brick building was constructed in 1889 for $28,000 by Henry L. Tibbals, a retired sea captain. Built in the Richardson Romanesque style, the building's arched windows appear to extend for two stories through the use of twin columns that bracket each window bay on the building's façade.
The first floor of the Captain Tibbals Building originally housed a billiard parlor and saloon known as the Townsend Tavern, while the upper two floors provided furnished rooms for rent. In the early 1900s, The Call newspaper operated out of the building. Over the years, the building has housed an Egyptian theater, the Northern Pacific offices, a grocery store, a state liquor store, a florist shop, and several restaurants.
From 1925 to 1933, the upper two floors of the building were known as the Palace Hotel, affectionately nicknamed "the Palace of Sweets" as they were operated as a brothel and hotel. During this time, the Madame of the house, Marie, occupied the corner suite on the second floor. Her room was richly decorated with plush red wallpaper and deep green woodwork, much as it is today. It had the only fireplace in the building, but it lacked a private bath as there was only one on each of the upper floors. On the third floor there were four, small interior rooms which were lighted from the large stairwell skylight, but had no outside windows. While this type of interior room was quiet common in the building of this era, in the Palace Hotel they served as "cribs" for the "girls".
Following an early morning raid by the sheriff in the mid ~1930's, the brothel was eventually closed and Marie and the "girls" soon left town. Such is the colorful past of this beautiful building.