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Crystal Springs

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The Crystal Springs community occupies a strip of land on the southwestern side of the island with views across Port Orchard Bay toward the glorious Olympic Mountains. This area’s best feature is the Gazzam Lake Park and Wildlife Preserve, a nearly 445 acre undeveloped area that contains 13 acres of wetland and 4 miles of trails with varying difficulty to accommodate a range of fitness levels [1]. Though Bainbridge Island as a whole boasts about its connectivity to nature, Gazzam Lake Park and Wildlife Preserve is one of the best places on the island to see unique animals in their natural habitats. Trail-goers have reported seeing owls, deer, and coyotes while exploring the woods. Go on a walk, run, or even ride a horse through this area to experience the beauty first-hand, as the trails are equestrian-friendly. The Crystal Springs community is not just known for its one-of-a-kind natural setting, but also for its rich history. Though Crystal Springs is well-connected to the island today, this was not only the case. In the early 20th century, this area could only be reached by a small system of ferries called the “Mosquito Fleet”.

Remnants of the old dock still remain as part of a small park just off Point White Drive. Crystal Springs is also home to a couple very important houses. One is the 6,000 square foot Furuya House which has been dubbed by CINARC (an organization that conducts research of historic Asian-American sites) “The best-preserved early Asian-American residence in the Pacific Northwest” [2]. Masajiro Furuya, a successful Japanese businessman built this summer getaway with wood produced by the old Port Blakely mill. Furuya did not actually own the house though, as laws of that time prohibited Japanese-Americans from owning property. Astonishingly, the house is still in perfect condition [2]. This house, however, is not for sale. For one that is, a 2,500 square foot waterfront home can run just slightly short of $1,000,000 while a house further inland will cost about half that amount. Woods, water, mountain views, and history—Crystal Springs has it all. If you are looking to make a positive change in your lifestyle, this community is a great place to start. If you are looking for something more transit-friendly, but with similar features, check out our articles on Eagle Harbor, Winslow, and Wing Point.