Local parade in 1914, likely Founders’ Day

Tom Camfield
Posted 9/27/19

I don’t have a lot to say about this historic postcard photo, although the notes on the back of the card—by some individual for whom historians should be thankful—provide a little …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Local parade in 1914, likely Founders’ Day


I don’t have a lot to say about this historic postcard photo, although the notes on the back of the card—by some individual for whom historians should be thankful—provide a little information of interest. However, there is no mention of what the occasion for the parade was, so that must be deduced . . .

I have seen other photos by W. H. Wilcox dating back to 1900, but I had never run across any information about the man. The notes here about him read: “Port Townsend, Wash. 1914—W. H. Wilcox was the local agent selling Henry Ford’s Model T. (See early-model cars in background of photo.) He came to P.T. at the turn of the century as secretary to the collector of customs. He was also a photographer and very likely took this picture. He moved to Seattle with his P.T. school-teacher bride in 1914, the year this photo was taken. This card belonged to him and was purchased along with other cards in his collection addressed to Wilcox family members.”

The surroundings seem to place this parade in the residential area. If it was captured in April 1914 it would have been well before the 4th of July, so I believe it obviously was the city’s Founders’ Day, settlement of the community having been officially recorded as April 24, 1851.

So there you have it.

MEANWHILE—Quite a number of my earlier blogs, back to 2016 or so, now are available. A fair number of them deal with local history, so have sort of a timeless interest. Here at ptleader.com home page just go down under “blogs” to “Words from a 90-year resident.”

Or send to an interested friend this link:


4 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Marge Samuelson

The Jefferson County Historical Society Research Center has a fairly large collection of W.H. Wilcox photos.

Sunday, September 29, 2019
Tom Camfield

Good to know they survived, Marge.

Back 20 years ago when I was working on my books of history, there was no research center. All the historical material was crammed into a small room upstairs in City Hall, not really accessible to the public. I worked with minimal help from JCHS but with considerable help from the genealogical society volunteers.

I have my own 65-year accumulation at present.

Sunday, September 29, 2019
Marge Samuelson

I started working at the museum in 1991. The Genealogy society volunteers were some of the best researchers available. We helped many people not only with genealogical research but Jefferson County, from information on homes, businesses, the forts, etc. It was a small library, cold in winter and hot in summer. We loved it! I have so many great memories of the time I spent working at the museum. We moved out in 2003 because the city wanted our space. All in all it turned out well, we have a wonderful space at the Research Center and have helped hundreds of people over the years. Volunteers, they are the life blood of this community.

Monday, September 30, 2019
Tom Camfield

Hi, Marge. You genealogical society volunteers were truly a dedicated bunch back then (and still are today). It's always a pleasure working around those who are happy to help others out of the goodness of their hearts!

About 1991 was the time both the cramped records center upstairs at city hall and I both acquired the same style of early computer, a little Apple classic-5 black-and-white with one (1) mg of RAM. But it handled the early Internet and its great selection of specialized genealogical news groups—which soon became inadequate and obsolete when everyone who knew the name of one of his grandparents decided to become a "genealogist." However, they were free chat-rooms and through them I exchanged a considerable amount of printed (and documented) material. Nowadays everyone pays to join such as Ancestry.com and help perpetuate all sorts of inaccurate hearsay.

For the genealogy in my local history books, I drained old JCHS marriage records, obituaries and related things at that little original records center. I also managed to pick up quite a bit on local history in general.

And, of course, JCHS now is a great expanded well-wired source and repository of local-area history. And the volunteers are a major part of dealing with it all. The amount of indexing alone that they have accomplished is prodigious and worthy of high praise. I'm forever recommend the research center to people. And I still email a query to Marge once in a while, as she knows where to find the answers. She also has compiled herself a great detailed history of local women over the greater Port Townsend area's first 100 years.

Monday, September 30, 2019