Photo of NTS Central Fire Station.

NTS Central Fire Station.

A New Decade, A New Name


Photo of Keyport float in a Labor Day parade.
The Station was proud of its first-prize winning float in Bremerton 's 1930 Labor Day Parade. The float displayed a Mark 1 Torpedo from 1895 and the very latest, the Mark 10 of 1930.

Commanding Officers
Captain Allan S. FarquharJune 18, 1932-April 1, 1935
Captain Johnathan S. DowellJune 14, 1935-June 13, 1937
Captain William A. HallJune 29, 1937-May 2, 1942
The Pacific Coast Torpedo Station was officially renamed the United States Naval Torpedo Station in 1930.

The dilemma over finding lost torpedoes was solved in a rather unique way. Smoke pots were placed in a torpedo about to be tested and if it sank, the smoke pot would send a stream of bubbles to the top, making it much easier to be found.

In 1935 it became apparent that ammunition magazines and the areas surrounding them were quite visible from airplanes. A project to cover these areas in green grass and other plantings began immediately.

Public Works had its hands full in 1937 with several major projects. A fire station and guard house near the Main Gate were built and manned by military personnel.

In that same year, the Marine Barracks received a library, wiring in the industrial area was placed underground, and the woods and hills on and surrounding the Station were cleared. The Bremerton newspaper commented that "the Naval Torpedo Station has literally dug the station out of the forest and given it an entire facial."

  Security restrictions increased significantly in 1939. Visitors were banned from the Station except those on official Navy business and all civilian employees were now required to wear picture identification badges.

Foundation work underway new Quarters O in 1934.
The foundation is poured and the framing work about to begin on the new Quarters O in 1934. This quarters is still used today by the Station's Executive Officer.


Photo of the large residence.
Captain Johnathan S. Dowell resided here in Quarters D at the time this photo was taken in 1936. Quarters D was replaced by Quarters S, the current Commanding Officer's residence, shortly after this photo was taken. The fish pond, visible in the center, still remains today.

Photo of construction on Quarters S.
Construction is well underway on Quarters S in this December 1936 photo. Notice the fish pond in the center.

The metal shapes, which spell out HI-X.
This odd looking formation of metal is not a bike rack or an attempt at modern art, but rather an aid to air navigation. The metal shapes, which are near the north lagoon, spell out HI-X.

A 1930's aerial view of Radio Hill and the Station.
A 1930's aerial view of Radio Hill and the Station, looking north. It's interesting to note that the area to the south of the circular road and Radio Station was privately owned at this time.

Laborers pull a pole using block and tackle.
Laborers work on relocating the communication line between the Puget Sound Navy Yard and Keyport. This 1930's photo was taken to document the "method of pulling the pole."

Boy Under Instruction for Electrical Machinist: The Story of Herman Boldt

By recommendation of Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herman Boldt became the first foreman to head up the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station's new power plant. When he retired from Keyport in 1944, with 40 years government service, he was remembered for playing a large role in the development and leadership of a torpedo station from its infancy.

Herman's life prior to coming to Keyport was similar to what you might find in a novel. He was born in San Francisco, California, on June 12, 1885 to Herman and

Herman Boldt, shown at his desk.
Herman Boldt, shown here in later years, was a leading figure in the development of the new torpedo station.

  Augusta Boldt. The family soon moved to Seattle, but the elder Herman found his calling in the fur trading business. With his schooner, "Seabird," he set off on an adventure to Alaska that ended in tragedy. In 1887, Augusta received word that Herman and his crew had been massacred by Indians.

Augusta took the younger Herman and moved to Skagit County. In 1900 the family moved again, this time to Charleston, a town which is now part of Bremerton.

In 1901 Herman enlisted in the Navy as a Third Class Apprentice on the USS Nipsic. His career in the Navy took a sudden twist as he was discharged soon after for a physical disability. But that twist was all Herman needed to make a move into what would be the most important step in his career as an electrician.

Herman soon went to work at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton. His title was, simply, "Boy Under Instruction for Electrical Machinist," an apprenticeship of sorts.

Herman took several jobs using his electrical training before being appointed as Foreman Machinist of the Power Plant and Maintenance at the U.S. Naval Station, Guam.

While in Guam, he supervised the installation of the first electrical light plant and electrical distribution in Agana, a city that, before that time, had used kerosene to light its homes and streets.

In September 1911, Herman married Mable Gowdy of Charleston (Bremerton). She joined him in Guam and they were married at the Governor's Palace by Captain G.R. Salisbury, USN, Governor of Guam and Commandant of the Naval Station.

After three years, she returned to the United States, because their son was ill. Herman's desire to be with his family prompted him to write a letter in 1916 to the Commandant of the Puget Sound Navy Yard. He had heard of the up and coming torpedo station at Keyport and requested to be assigned there as Foreman of the Power Plant.

Herman soon received orders from Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to report to Keyport to supervise the construction and installation of the power plant and other Station facilities.

When he arrived on June 22, 1916, the Station consisted of only one permanent building (No. 1), and approximately 30 employees. He set right to work, bringing electrical power to the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station.

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