Poulsbo (the first syllable is pronounced like the name Paul) is a Viking-inspired village on Liberty Bay. It is the third largest city in Kitsap County and one of the main suburbs to Seattle in the Kitsap area. In 2005 the city had a population of 7,450 within city limits and roughly 30,000 counting all people with a Poulsbo address.
Poulsbo has a long history as a destination for immigrants from Scandinavia, particularly Norway and Finland. Downtown Poulsbo maintains a Scandinavian theme in its shops and restaurants, and is a popular regional tourist destination. One of its local products is now available worldwide, Poulsbo Bread, originally made in the local bakery. Many visitors arrive by boat; there are three marinas near the town, and the town's harbor is an excellent anchorage.
Founded by Norwegian immigrant Jorgen Eliason in the 1880's, Poulsbo was originally settled by a large number of Norwegian and other Scandinavian immigrants because of its similarities to their native countries. Named after Paulsbo, Norway, a mistake on the application for establishing a post office resulted in the town being officially named Poulsbo in 1886. Poulsbo was officially incorporated on December 18, 1907.
Poulsbo, up until World War II, had retained Norwegian as its primary language. However, during World War II, the military constructed about 300 residential units to provide housing for workers at the nearby Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, located in Bremerton, Washington. The population of Poulsbo almost tripled over three years, and the diversification of the population led to the dominance of English as the primary language.