110 years ago (1907)
The only important opium capture made here in some years came recently when two inspectors caught a steamship fireman red-handed in a local Chinese store, endeavoring to dispose of some unstamped poppy-plant extract.
90 years ago (1927)
“One of the picturesque, although annoying features experienced by the pioneer settlers of the west end of Jefferson County has been and is, that of the wandering bands of elk which continue to frequent their ancient feeding grounds.”
70 years ago (1947)
The Rhododendron Festival is deemed another success. “An excess of 10,000 people jammed street sides for many blocks to witness and applaud one of the finest parades ever held here.”
60 years ago (1957)
“A time capsule, containing local documents and other material which will be of interest to historians in the next century, was buried a few feet from the restored fire bell tower.”
“The Pacific Northwest Championship meet for skin-diving enthusiasts will be held at Port Townsend starting at noon Sunday.”
45 years ago (1972)
“An estimated 15,000 people view the 37th Rhododendron Festival grand parade in 75-degree temperatures. The parade had about 100 units.”
Port Townsend High School senior George Sutherland is featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section for his exploits during the 1972 track and field season.
New plans are made to alleviate flooding of pastureland in Chimacum Valley. The first effort is the dredging of a sand and gravel bar north of Chimacum Creek Bridge.
20 years ago (1997)
“The first of seven high-speed passenger ferries, each costing about $5.5 million, was ‘rolled over’ May 20 at the Port of Port Townsend.” Dan Johnston, owner of Falcon Marine, Jefferson County’s largest marine trades employer with 50 jobs, said he needs to hire 70 more people to build 25 of the boats in the next five years. (Note: Not one of the boats was ever finished before the company folded.)
Port Townsend’s so-called “Tree of Heaven” was relegated to memory May 22 when the rotting historic tree was cut to the ground. A major windstorm cracked the 130-year-old tree on Easter Sunday.
“A crowd mostly upset with proposed Jefferson County land uses baptized the new county planning commission last Wednesday with a dunking of dissent.”
(Compiled by Patrick J. Sullivan. Sources: Leader Collection; Jefferson County Historical Society Museum and Research Center, 13692 Airport Cutoff Road, Port Townsend; Jefferson County Historical Society, 379-6673, jchsmuseum.org; jchswa.org, the online search site)