Puget Sound

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PUGET SOUND is an inland waterway, connected to the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which borders Washington State and British Columbia, Canada. In 1787 the English captain Charles Barkley spotted the strait, and in 1792 another English captain, George Vancouver, sailed through the strait and explored the area. In 1898, Puget Sound was the jumping-off point for the Yukon and Alaska gold rushes. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was built at Bremerton, Washington, in 1891. The region was important during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War as a military center for the Pacific. More than half the population of Washington State ultimately settled on the shores of the sound.


Schwantes, Carlos Arnaldo. The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.

Laurie WinnCarlson

See alsoPacific Northwest ; Vancouver Explorations ; Washington, State of ; andpicture (overleaf).

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Puget Sound (pyōō´jĕt), arm of the Pacific Ocean, NW Wash., connected with the Pacific by Juan de Fuca Strait, entered through the Admiralty Inlet and extending in two arms c.100 mi (160 km) S to Olympia. The sound, which receives many streams from the Cascade Range, has numerous islands and is navigable for large ships. Along its shores are important ports and commercial cities; the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is at Bremerton. The Puget Sound lowland, which extends south from the sound, is the most densely populated area of Washington; Seattle and Tacoma are the principal cities. The sound was discovered in 1792 by English Capt. George Vancouver and named for his aide, Peter Puget, who explored it.