Port Angeles’ 150th anniversary celebrated with musket fire, hand-stamped envelopes
By Chris Tucker
Peninsula Daily News
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The event marked the anniversary of an order signed by President Abraham Lincoln that established the town as a military and naval reservation June 19, 1862.
Port Angeles Mayor Cheri Kidd, dressed in an old-time black dress for the occasion, stood on the steps of the museum and addressed the crowd.
“I further encourage all citizens to join in and participate in events and celebrations noting the significance of our city’s 150th anniversary all year long as the Port Angeles sesquicentennial,” Kidd said.
“Congratulations to the citizens of Port Angeles,” she added,
On Tuesday, an official post office was established at the Museum of the Carnegie from noon to 2 p.m.
Port Angeles Postmaster Lisa Jones opened the office and a postal employee hand-canceled pre-printed envelopes with either a special sesquicentennial stamp or a graphic noting Lincoln’s action.
The hand-stamped envelopes cost $1.
On June 19, 1862, Lincoln ordered a reservation for military uses and a lighthouse on Ediz Hook.
His action shortened a Spanish name given the area — which had been settled for centuries by the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe — in 1791 by Spanish explorer Francisco de Eliza.
Lincoln’s order changed Puerto de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles — Port of Our Lady of the Angels — to Port Angeles, and gave a post office that had been established in 1860 a new name, said Mayor Cherie Kidd, organizer of sesquicentennial celebrations.
On Tuesday, the band Ruby and Friends played such songs as “The Battle of New Orleans” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” before Kidd and other speakers spoke to the crowd who stood outside the museum.
Chris Morganroth told the crowd about how Native Americans interacted with the first white settlers.
“We don’t want to forget who we are. We don’t want to forget who you are — and welcome to this festivity here today,” Morganroth told the crowd.
Three Girl Scouts — Genna Birch, Meadow Robinson and Hailey Robinson — with assistance from men with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1024, lowered an old U.S. flag and replaced it with a new one.
Afterward a line of men with the Peninsula Long Rifle Association aimed their black powder muskets at the blue sky and fired.
The crack of the exploding powder filled the air.
Afterward, the crowd filled a downstairs hallway, each person waiting their turn to buy envelopes and have them stamped.
“They make a perfect gift; One of a kind,” said Greg Scherer of Port Angeles, who bought 10 envelopes.
He said the event was “excellent” and said it was “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Barb Oliver, also of Port Angeles, said she liked the music and the firing of the muskets. She was also in line to buy an envelope.
“I’m going to get one for me and one for my son . . . it’s his birthday today,” she said.
Reporter Chris Tucker can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: June 19. 2012 6:27PM