Port Townsend photo shop closing doors today
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Christal Ericksen is closing her A-1 Hour Photo Center at 1139 Water St. in Port Townsend after almost 20 years.

By Joe Smillie
For the Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — Christal Ericksen will develop the last pictures of children hugging their new toys in Jefferson County today.

As of Thursday, after almost 20 years in business, Ericksen's A-1 Hour Photo Center will be closed forever.

“The digital camera drove me out,” she said. “People with digital cameras don't make prints.”

Erickson opened the photo center at 1139 Water Street on April Fool's Day 1992, and Port Townsend's history literally developed in front of her eyes.

“I've seen the babies grow up. And I knew when somebody got a new family member or a pet, or lost a family member or a pet.”

Now, Jefferson County will be without a photo shop.

Ericksen thinks it's a shame. “When people don't make prints, these kids — they won't have a photo album to look through when they grow up,” she said.

Walmarts in Sequim or Poulsbo will be the closest place Jefferson County residents can take pictures to be printed.

An employee of the Sequim store who asked to be identified only as Jeanette said business is strong in Walmart's photo center.

“We're swamped, like right now,” she said in a phone interview last week.

“We're developing lots and lots of pictures. Especially this time of year.”

An avid travel photographer, Ericksen said she now plans to buy a new set of oil paints and paint some of her favorite photographs.

She is trying to sell her equipment and supplies to a photography distributor.

Last modified: December 25. 2012 5:02PM
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