About This Place
Port Ludlow is a census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson County, Washington, United States. It is also the name of the marine inlet on which the CDP is located. The CDP's population was 1,968 at the 2000 census. Originally a logging and sawmill community, its economy declined during the first half of the 20th century. Following the completion of the nearby Hood Canal Bridge in 1960, Port Ludlow became the site of resorts and planned communities, attracting more affluent residents who were retired, buying vacation homes, or needing a more convenient commute to the business centers on the east side of Puget Sound. Based on per capita income, Port Ludlow ranks 16th of 522 ranked areas in the state of Washington, and the highest rank achieved in Jefferson County. Port Ludlow's location and marina facilities make it a convenient and popular port for leisure craft sailing between Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.
The United States Exploring Expedition, under Charles Wilkes, entered Puget Sound in 1841. Wilkes bestowed many patriotically American place names; at the time the sovereignty of the Oregon Country was yet to be resolved between Britain and the United States. Many of Wilkes's names commemorated American heroes and victories during the War of 1812. Port Ludlow was one of these, honoring Augustus C. Ludlow, a War of 1812 American naval hero.
Early explorers of the Pacific Northwest often named sheltered inlets with names beginning with "Port". Communities which subsequently developed often adopted inlet's name. Today Port Ludlow is both the name of the inlet and the community on its shore. To avoid confusion the inlet is sometimes called Port Ludlow Bay.