Posted by: gatheringwater | 2009/01/04

Non-Traditional Housing

A replica of a car ferry won the 16th annual Gingerbread House contest at Aldrich's Market.

A replica of the Port Townsend/Whidbey Island car ferry won this year's Gingerbread House contest at Aldrich's Market.

Aldrich’s Market is a beloved Port Townsend institution. I suppose it is partly because they’ve been around since 1895, but mostly because they offer more than just groceries to the community. For the past sixteen years, for example, they have hosted a gingerbread house contest, which has become as much a holiday tradition as lighting the tree at Haller Fountain or colored lights strung from masts at the Boat Haven. I’ve never entered, but perhaps I’ll try in 2009.

This year’s winners in the group category were Shannon and Lily Murock. Their replica of the car ferry that has been running between between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island is complete right down to the logo painted on the bridge. Instead of cars, it has a candy cargo and the engines are supplimented in the gingerbread version with reindeer.

I says something about Port Townsend, I suppose, to understand that as uncommon as it may be to see a boat rendered in gingerbread, this was hardly the most unusual entry. In fact, few of the entries were traditional gingerbread houses. I saw a log cabin, Stonehenge, a birdhouse, a broken-down barn, and a shed-boy’s shed. (I must revisit shed boys and their habitations in a future post.) The most highly conceptual entry was certainly the one inspired by the documentary Man on Wire, complete with a tiny little tightrope walker balanced between the towers of the former World Trade Center.

I like my gingerbread to be not only edible, but appetizing. That’s why my personal favorite was the Stonehenge model. It may not be very colorful, but it was redolent of spices and it would be easy to pick off and munch the little standing stones…

Gingerbread Stonehenge

Gingerbread Stonehenge



  1. I feel inspired…

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