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Newsletter Archive

April 2017

Founders' Day Post Card

 

Cabinet of birdsView Treasures at Research Center Open House

Imagine Grandma’s attic packed with odd, creepy things and exciting treasures to discover - only without the cobwebs. That’s what you’ll find at the Jefferson County Historical Society’s open house at the Research Center and Collections Building on Sunday, April 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Visitors to the open house will be able to see the early stages of exhibit preparation when they tour the Collections Building. The next exhibit to be presented in the Women’s Jail Gallery will be a “Cabinet of Curiosities,” scheduled to open in June. The exhibit will recreate a collection of curiosities, the forerunner of contemporary museums and popular in the Victorian era.

“We have some really amazing things to enjoy. This exhibit gives us a chance to get them out and on display,” said Becky Schurmann, collections manager.

There are over 15,000 items in the collections storage building, from buttons to Native American baskets, from natural specimens to obsolete, and somewhat odd, technology. That’s only part of the collection. There’s also 80,000 photographs and 500,000 archival documents.

The collection continues to grow. “Last week we got in 33 ledgers that date back to 1862. They include the farm journals of William Bishop. He made note of what he did every day while working on his Chimacum Valley farm,” said Marsha Moratti, archivist.

The Collections Building wasn’t opened until April of 2012. Before then, artifacts and archives were stored at the City Hall building with every nook and cranny. “We opened a big wardrobe and found it full of parasols and deer heads. Things were just tucked away everywhere,” said Moratti.

The collection is settled and secure in the Collections Building, but there’s still plenty to do. Donated treasures keep arriving and must be catalogued and photographed. Becky Schurmann, collections manager, secures artifacts into custom-constructed boxes and trays. Handling artifacts is a painstaking process; there are boxes still to be unpacked from the last move.

Tours of the Collections Building at the Jefferson County Historical Society’s Research Center Open House will be on Sunday, April 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The Research Center is located at 13692 Airport Cutoff Road (Highway 19). There is no admission charge.


ART WALK: New Exhibit and Book Signing

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Art Walk on April 1, 5:30-8:00 p.m. It will be the first Art Walk to feature the new exhibit “Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors and Patrons.” The exhibit includes artwork from the Simpson Collection which was donated to the Jefferson County Historical Society by the Simpson Estate. A major piece by Stephen Yates was created specifically for the exhibit. Artists include Yates, Tom Wilson, Jo Ann Alber, Kate Jenks, Anne Hirondelle, Stephanie Lutgring, Linda Okazaki, Galen Garwood, and Ed Cain.

A companion book written by Mary Coney and Jenny Westdal and designed by Ann Welch includes in-depth biographies of the artists and of Peter and Pat Simpson, civic and cultural leaders who were instrumental in the transformation of Port Townsend into a recognized art community. The authors will be signing books during Art Walk, 6:00-8:00 p.m.


First Friday Lecture: Stephen Yates Art Talk

Stephen YatesStephen Yates will present an Art Talk at the Jefferson County Historical Society First Friday Lecture on April 7. Yates’s talk complements the new museum exhibit “Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors & Patrons.” He'll talk about the Simpsons and their rolls in shaping the Port Townsend art community. He’ll also talk about his own art and how it has evolved since it was collected by the Simpsons in the 1980s.

Yates received a BFA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from the University of Kansas. He has been a Centrum artist in residence and has received numerous awards for his work from regional and national organizations. His work is in many important collections and institutions including Microsoft, Providence Hospital, University of Washington-Bothell campus, Eastern Washington University, the Washington Governor’s Office, Everett Community College, the Kitsap Government Building, the City of Seattle, and the City of Portland.

JCHS executive director Bill Tennent said, “Stephen knew the Simpson’s well and is the perfect person to put their contributions into perspective. His new painting “Navigator’s Strategy” is one of the highlights of the exhibit which will be open for the lecture audience to view.”

The program takes place in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber, 540 Water Street, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Admission is by donation which supports historical society programs.



March 2017

Paula BeckerFirst Friday Lecture:
The Truth and I

Humanities Washington speaker Paula Becker will present “The Truth and I: Reading Betty MacDonald in the Age of Memoir” at the First Friday Lecture on March 3.

Paula Becker is the award-winning author of Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and I and co-author of The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy. She is featured in the documentary film When Seattle Invented the Future: The 1962 World’s Fair which aired on PBS stations nationwide. She has written for HistoryLink.org since 2001 and is a staff historian.

Becker said of Betty MacDonald, “Although she wrote autobiographically, Betty’s relationship with the truth was slippery. During a 1951 libel suit, Betty testified that she’d made up nearly all of The Egg and I—questionable testimony that worked in her favor. Betty’s readers seemed not to mind this discrepancy, but why?” According to Humanities Washington, “Becker’s talk ponders how Betty’s kind of nonfiction relates to the popular genre of memoir today. What—then and now—does ‘truth’ in memoir mean?” JCHS executive director Bill Tennent said, “At a time when the Oxford Dictionary has added ‘post-truth’ as an adjective, Paula’s talk seems particularly timely.”

The program takes place in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber, 540 Water Street, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations which support historical society programs are always welcome.



Pat & Peter Simpson Exhibit Post Card

Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors & Patrons

“Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors and Patrons,” opened March 24. The exhibit features artists who benefited from the encouragement and support of these long-time Port Townsend citizens.

Many pieces are from the Simpson’s collection, which are mostly from the mid-80s. Works of the some of the same artists from later in their careers are also featured. “By showing some of their more contemporary work we get a little bit of a survey of those artists and how their work has progressed,” said curator Ann Welch.

Artist's featured are Tom Wilson, Jo Ann Alber, Kate Jenks, Anne Hirondelle, Stephanie Lutgring, Stephen Yates, Linda Okazaki, Galen Garwood, and Ed Cain. Stephen Yates created a large painting, Navigator’s Strategy, specifically for the exhibit.

Pat and Peter Simpson were known for many things, Pat for her work at Centrum and running and Peter as the director of Port Townsend Film Festival, his writing, and his work at Community Action. Unless you’d been to their home, or were an artist, you may not have known that they were also serious art collectors.

The Simpsons donated the bulk of their collection to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Their son David loaned the family portraits to the museum for this exhibit.

“One of the things I discovered was that they had their hands and minds and hearts in almost every major organization, and minor organization, that was going on in Port Townsend. Over the years I think they left a big imprint on Port Townsend. If we could imagine what it would have been like here without them, the town would have been quite different,” said Coney.


Quilting MemoriesART WALK: Last Chance for Quilting Memories

If you have not yet seen the stunning quilts in the “Quilting Memories” exhibit at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History, March 4 will be the last chance to see them during a First Saturday Art Walk (although the exhibit will be on display in the museum through March 12). The museum will be open for Art Walk 5:30-8:00.  The exhibit features 24 historic quilts with details of their fabrication and interesting commentary on their use. Most are on loan from community members while a few are from the Jefferson County Historical Society collection. The oldest quilt dates to the American Civil War. All the quilts demonstrate exceptional artistic talent and creative expression.

Also during Art Walk, Jefferson County Historical Society archivist Marsha Moratti will be signing copies of the exhibit catalog.  The catalog commemorates all the quilters and the quilts featured in the exhibit.  It features color photos of the quilts, biographies of the women who created them, and a brief history of quilt making.  



February 2017

Star-of-the-Sea-Rectory Hogg House Eisenbeis Building

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
FOR PRESERVATION AWARDS

The Jefferson County Historical Society seeks nominations for the annual Historic Preservation Awards. The awards honor individuals and organizations that restore historic structures or preserve traditions within Jefferson County. The deadline for submissions is February 29.

Since 1978 the historical society has presented two types of awards. The Mary P. Johnson Award goes to historic structure projects that meet the Secretary of Interior’s high standards for restoration. Certificates of Appreciation are given for a variety of preservation and restoration projects and are not limited to physical structures.

Any project may be worthy of an award and anyone may nominate a project for consideration. All nominations will be reviewed by the JCHS Historic Preservation Awards Committee. In the past, awards have gone to such major projects as restoring Port Townsend’s City Hall and the Jefferson County Courthouse clock tower, however, restoration of more modest buildings is equally important.

Non-structure awards have been presented to authors of local histories, museum exhibits, cemetery stewards, oral history projects, and individuals who have contributed to the preservation of Jefferson County's heritage.

Nomination forms can be found on line HERE or may be picked up at the JCHS headquarters in historic City Hall, 540 Water Street, Port Townsend.


Protection Island

First Friday Lecture Explores Protection Island

How does Protection Island differ today from when Europeans first explored it? Wildlife biologist Sollmann Lorenz will discuss that question at the First Friday Lecture on February 3.

Lorenz is particularly excited about overseeing the prairie restoration at Dungeness and Protection Island. Lorenz said, “What did the eyes see back in 1792? What can be seen today? Come on a journey and discover the past, present, and future vision for Protection Island. We’ll look at the island as a whole considering the wildlife and the habitat that makes this island such a wonderful jewel in the Salish Sea.”

The program takes place in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber, 540 Water Street, beginning at 7:00 pm. Admission is by donation which supports historical society programs.


ART WALK: Quilts and Presses

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Art Walk on February 4, 5:30 - 8:00. In the Court Room Gallery “Quilting Memories” features 26 stunning quilts and the stories of the women who created them. Most are on loan from community members while a few are from the Jefferson County Historical Society collection. The oldest quilt dates to the American Civil War. All the quilts demonstrate exceptional artistic talent and creative expression.

Also on display In the new Women’s Jail Cell Gallery is “The Printed Word in Port Townsend: Literary Presses of the 1970s and 80s”. This exhibit features beautiful examples of the seven literary presses that once operated in Port Townsend, one press for every 850 residents! Exhibit catalogs are available for both exhibits.



December 2016

First Night Fireworks

10th ANNUAL FIRST NIGHT

The Jefferson County Historical Society presents the 10th annual edition of First Night, Port Townsend’s alcohol-free New Year’s Eve community celebration focusing on arts and heritage.

All activities take place in and around Port Townsend’s historic City Hall between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on December 31. JCHS President, Chris Prescott said, “First Night is for everyone. It has something for families, singles and couples of all ages.”

There will be musical performances, call dancing, a hands-on history hunt, birds of prey from Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue, film shorts presented by the Port Townsend Film Festival, children’s games and science projects conducted by the Port Townsend High School Interact Club, storytelling and theatrical presentations by the Key City Public Theatre, a hands-on art project at the Jefferson Community School, music at Elevated Ice Cream and dancing at the Boiler Room.

At 9:00 p.m. (midnight in New York) Port Townsend will usher in 2017 by raising an illuminated anchor created by sculptor Thaddeus Jurczynski. Brilliant fireworks follow, provided by Dr. David Chuljian and launched from Memorial Field.

Admission is by donation, suggested $5 per person or $10 per family. Proceeds benefit Historical Society programs. Admission passes are now available at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History in historic City Hall, 540 Water Street. "We encourage people to get their passes in advance to avoid the rush when the event starts,” says Executive Director, Bill Tennent.

FOR A SCHEDULE OF EVENTS CLICK HERE



November 2016

Kalaloch Lodge

WEST END WEEKEND

Historical society members and friends meet up on the wild west side of Jefferson County every November to enjoy a weekend of exploration at, and around, the beautiful Kalaloch Lodge.

The 2016 West End Weekend is November 18, 19, and 20. JCHS executive director Bill Tennent said, “There are two major goals of the weekend—to encourage people to explore that beautiful and historic area of Jefferson County and to collect stories and historical information from West End residents for the JCHS archives.”

For details CLICK HERE.


Literary PressesFirst Friday Lecture:
Press Adventures

Rod Freeman will present some little-known, colorful Port Townsend history at the First Friday Lecture at 7:00 p.m. on November 4 in the historic Port Townsend City Council Chamber above the Jefferson Museum of Art & History at 540 Water Street.

The history Freeman will share won’t be what he taught as a teacher at Chimacum High School, nor is it found in any local history books. This history is of a freer, younger, and more idealistic time when Freeman managed to gather local poets and artists and put out a literary magazine in the early 1970s, the Wale. They completed just one issue, but the adventures surrounding its publication, and the poets who appeared in its pages, create a lively story.

A surprising number of literary presses came to life in Port Townsend during the era of the Wale. In a time when being anti-establishment was standard, the Wale took things a step further and functioned with anarchy as its organizational model. The Wale was published with no funds, a little luck, and a lot of enthusiasm. Printed by hand on an antique letterpress, it included original block prints by local artists. A copy of the Wale is currently in the Jefferson Museum’s exhibit, “The Printed Word in Port Townsend: Literary Presses of the 1970s and 80s.”

The Wale did not die quietly but morphed into the Grizzly Bear Press, which found itself somewhat unexpectedly in the middle of a political controversy. Port Townsend may have become an entirely different place without the Grizzly Bear Press.

Freeman will talk about the cultural climate of the 1970s and the beginnings of the town's rich literary and arts scene. He'll tell about how the town he grew up in was different from the one it became. Freeman continues to be active in visual and performance arts and creates hand-built guitars. He still has the old Peerless press that was used to print the Grizzly Bear Press.



October 2016

Michael Daleyby Steve R. Johnson, 1983 Michael Daley by Steve R. Johnson, 1983.

First Friday Lecture: MEMORIES OF MUD AND PUBLISHING

By Jenny Westdal, curator of “The Printed Word in Port Townsend: Literary Presses of the 1970s and 80s"

Poet Michael Daley will be sharing tales and insights about his literary adventures as a young poet/publisher in Port Townsend in the 1970s and 80s at the First Friday Lecture at 7:00 p.m. on October 7 in the Port Townsend city council chamber at 540 Water Street.

Daley arrived in Port Townsend in 1972 when it was still a sleepy mill town. He was both a witness to, and an instigator of, Port Townsend’s transformation from a quiet backwater to a town known for its art and artists. Daley was the founder of Empty Bowl Press with Bob Blair, who suggested the name of the press in 1976. It was a time when Port Townsend was experiencing a large influx of young people fleeing cities after the turmoil of the 60s. Many were well educated artists and craftsman ready to put their ideals into practice.

Empty Bowl grew out of the mud of the tree planter camps where Daley and Blair worked on a crew with fellow poets Tim McNulty, Mike O’Connor, Finn Wilcox, musician Chuck Easton, and environmentalist Jerry Gorsline. Their daily up close contact with nature while replanting clear cuts further developed the group’s environmental thinking. Empty Bowl Press was created as a literary magazine that would provide a forum for environment issues.

Empty Bowl was part of the literary fervor that was then occurring in Port Townsend. Copper Canyon Press and Graywolf Press had come to Port Townsend two years earlier in 1974. That same year the Writers’ Conference had been established by Centrum and was bringing visiting writers to town. Poetry readings were plentiful in numerous locations around town. It was a time when youth, idealism, and energy created a community of artists and writers.

The first Empty Bowl publication was Dalmo’ma I, the first of a series of anthologies conceived and edited by Daley. This and other Empty Bowl works will be on display in the Jefferson Museum of Art & History’s exhibit “The Printed Word in Port Townsend: Literary Presses of the 1970s and 80s” which will open October 20. Daley’s First Friday lecture begins a series of events that celebrate Port Townsend’s literary presses.



September 2016

Quilting Memories Quilting Memories exhibit opening

An enthusiastic crowd attended the September 22 opening of "Quilting Memories" at the Jefferson Museum featuring 26 stunning quilts dating as far back as the Civil War.

View the Quilt Exhibit Catalog


You're invited to an Epicurean Cruise

The 2016 Epicurean Event features a catered history cruise between Port Townsend, Irondale, Port Ludlow and Kala Point. On September 29, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. passengers will feast on fine local foods, wine, beer and cider. The cost per ticket to this fundraiser will be $140, of which $50 can be claimed as a charitable donation.

For a flyer
CLICK HERE

Glacier Spirit

The Glacier Spirit is considered by many in the Pacific Northwest, the most beautiful and relaxing boats in the whale watch fleet. Passengers love the comfortable inside seating, and the large viewing windows. There is a snack bar, a full certified galley, two restrooms, and an outside viewing deck around the entire cabin. She is also equipped with fully modern navigation equipment and indoor and outdoor speakers.

Closing September 6

Northwest Native Art
on Exhibit at Jefferson Museum

Persistent Vision post cardPersistent Vision: Northwest Native Art opened at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History on March 5. The exhibit celebrates the strength and continuing expression of Native art. Works by contemporary artists are featured along with rare artifacts from the JCHS collection. The pieces show a range of techniques in a variety of materials including wood, cloth, and paper.

“This exhibit gives us an opportunity to show some of the wonderful things we have in our collection,” said Becky Schurmann, JCHS collection manager and exhibit designer, “Some of the items were collected by early settlers such as N.D. Hill, Lucinda Hastings and James G. Swan. Swan was on a collecting trip in 1883 for the newly formed Smithsonian Museum when he met Charles Edensaw, a Haida master carver whose work has never been surpassed.” The cane Swan bought from Edensaw for his personal collection is in the exhibit.

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History is located at 540 Water Street, Port Townsend. It is open daily 11:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m.


Western FlyerFirst Friday Lecture: Western Flyer

Author and University of Washington affiliate professor Kevin Bailey will discuss his book The Western Flyer: Steinbeck’s Boat, the Sea of Cortez and the Saga of Pacific Fisheries as the First Friday Lecture on September 2.

Bailey is a Seattle-based writer who grew up in Salinas, California. He’s currently working on a book about small-scale traditional fisheries. His articles have appeared in Earth Island Journal, Crosscut, and The Daily Beast.

The Western Flyer is the boat that John Steinbeck leased in 1940 to take himself and Ed Ricketts (“Doc” in Cannery Row) on an expedition to the Sea of Cortez. The boat became an icon of American literature. It worked as a sardine seiner out of Monterey, with its namechanged to Gemini it moved north to Washington State and British Columbia, moved farther north to Alaska, later became a tender in the Puget Sound salmon fishery, and ended as a channel marker in the Swinomish Slough. After sinking twice, the boat is finally being respectfully restored in Port Townsend with plans for it to become an educational resource. Bailey tells the tale of the boat, the fish it harvested, and the cast of characters who sailed on it.

The talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Port Townsend city council chamber, 540 Water Street. Admission is free. Donations are always welcome to support historical society programs.



August 2016

Casi Cronkhite

Kaci Cronkhite Book Launch

The Jefferson County Historical Society presents a book launch, talk, and slide show by Kaci Cronkhite on August 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cotton Building, 607 Water Street in Port Townsend. Admission is free. Donations are welcome to support historical society programs.

Cronkhite’s book Finding Pax: The Unexpected Journey of a Little Wooden Boat is the story of a sailboat crafted in Denmark in 1936 by a builder nicknamed “the perfectionist.” Seventy years later, Cronkhite purchased Pax in Victoria, British Columbia and began a journey that connected families in three countries and uncovered a history that had been lost. She described her search as “a love story, an international mystery, and a seven-year quest.”

Cronkhite, who sailed more than 60,000 miles between 1994 and 2001 as hired crew in oceans around the world, earned a captain’s license, conducted research, wrote articles, and taught all aspects of ocean passagemaking. Her stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers in the United States, Australia, Canada, South America and the Caribbean. She attended the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival in 2001 and subsequently served as its director for a decade.


Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum

The Jefferson County Historical Society Education Committee is offering a series of evening programs in and around the downtown Port Townsend art and history museum. For details CLICK HERE.


Canoe Painting

First Friday Lecture:
Native Peoples’ Presence in Port Townsend

Jo Blair and Kate Storey, co-leaders of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Native Peoples Connections Action Group, will begin an ongoing discussion “Learning and Sharing the Cultural History of Port Townsend” at the First Friday Lecture on August 5.

Thousands of years before European settlers came to the Quimper Peninsula, Native peoples established their way of life and culture in the Port Townsend area. The Strong People, also known as the Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha Klallam, and Port Gamble S’Klallam, no longer reside on ancestral land on the Quimper Peninsula. Over the past few years the Action Group has provided movies, classes, and discussions for Port Townsend community members to learn about the long history of Native people in the area.

Blair and Storey will raise the questions: What was east Jefferson County like before Euro-American contact? How can Port Townsend honor the first people of the area? How can Jefferson County residents share and celebrate the cultural and natural history of the area? The program will begin this important conversation.

The speakers will share their visit to Twisp’s Methow Valley Interpretive Center, as an example of what might be done in the Port Townsend community. This center has begun to introduce the new residents of Methow Valley to the culture of the original inhabitants, the Methow people. In the 1800’s this tribe and eleven other tribes were banished from their homelands and sent to live on the Federated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation.

The program complements the exhibit “Persistent Vision: Northwest Native Art” in the Jefferson Museum of Art & History as well as the reprinting of Jerry Gorsline’s Shadows of Our Ancestors which will be available after the presentation.

The discussion will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Port Townsend city council chamber, 540 Water Street.



July 2016

Back in Print:
Shadows of Our Ancestors

Shadows of Our AncestorsThe historical society has reprinted Jerry Gorsline’s book, Shadows of Our Ancestors: Readings in the History of Klallam-White Relations. The book, originally published in 1992 by Empty Bowl, is a unique and valuable resource for Northwest history that has long been out of print.

Gorsline assembled primary and secondary sources with essays and commentaries written specifically for Shadows of Our Ancestors. He presents a variety of different view points, both white and native, of events that occurred at the beginnings of European-Native contact. Gorsline’s intention is to enable the reader to draw their own conclusions from the material presented.

“Using original source material from Indian agents, historians, and our own Tribal citizens, it offers a variety of perspectives on a transitional period in our history. Two worlds and values collided when settlers arrived in our territory,” said W. Ron Allen, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Chair.

Gorsline started researching S’Klallam-white relations as an effort to understand the issues raised by the 1974 Boldt Decision which affirmed Native American Treaty fishing rights and led to violent clashes between tribal and non-tribal fishermen. Gorsline’s original intention wasn’t to write a book. “It just evolved organically from my own process of discovery,” said Gorsline. As he proceeded with his research for his own understanding he thought, “this material is fascinating. It should be out there.”

When the book was published in 1992 it was well received by the general public and the S’Klallam tribes. “We use Shadows of Our Ancestors as a reference and as an introduction for those who want to know more about what our people endured,” said Allen.

Although a valued reference book, Shadows of Our Ancestors eventually went out of print. Copies could occasionally be found on-line but they were very expensive. Gorsline had tried unsuccessfully to interest various publishers in reprinting the book. “I’d finally given up when the historical society contacted me about maybe doing a reprint and was delighted,” said Gorsline.

Marsha Moratti, JCHS Archivist, took on the job of re-creating the book, something the historical society hadn’t done before. The greatest challenge was creating digital files since it was written in the 80s before personal computers. “She had to scan the entire book, edit and then re-format it following Tree’s (Swenson) design and then specify everything from the cover stock to the paper, the color of the paper, the type faces, and everything. It was incredible. She pulled it off. She did a commendable job,” said Gorsline.

Shadows of Our Ancestors is now available through Amazon and in the Museum Shop at Jefferson Museum of Art & History in Port Townsend and at Port Book and News in Port Angeles.

“We are delighted that it is back in print!” said Allen.



June 2016

First Friday Lecture:
30 Years in the Arctic

Branan Ward with his painting at the MuseumTeacher, mariner, artist and explorer Branan Ward of Marrowstone Island will present “My Thirty Years in the Arctic” as the First Friday Lecture on June 3.

Ward, a former member of the Royal Geographical Society of London, is a member of the Explorers’ Club of New York and the Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles. During his ninety-four years, he has ridden the rails as a hobo, paddled the length of Canada’s Mackenzie River twice, lived in Greenland, built roads across the Yukon, manned a war submarine and evolved into an accomplished painter.

His book Dimestore Explorer: Adventures of an Impetuous Geographer is part autobiography and part travelogue, recounting his many adventures ranging from the Great Smokey Mountains to the Caribbean to the North Pole. Fittingly, he earned a Master’s Degree from California State University at Los Angeles in Geography.

The talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Port Townsend city council chamber, 540 Water Street. Admission is free. Donations are always welcome to support historical society programs.



May 2016

Document Preservation Classes

Laura Reutter, museum conservator, is offering two document and art preservation classes in May. The class on May 15 will be “Cleaning and Mending Paper Artifacts.” Participants will learn about different types of papers and their characteristics. They’ll receive an introduction to dry-cleaning methods for books and documents. The class will present simple techniques for mending books and papers. Participants will learn how to hinge a work of art on paper to a backing board and do simple repairs with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste.

The class on May 29th will be “Flattening Rolled & Deformed Paper Artifacts.” Papers that have been rolled, crushed or folded for long periods of time have a 'memory' and will resist attempts to unroll and flatten them unless the unless they are humidified to relax it and dried under weights. The class will demonstrate a simple technique for flattening papers using an ultrasonic humidifier and pressure.

Classes will be held at the JCHS Research Center, 13692 Airport Cutoff Road at 1:00 p.m. each class day. Classes will last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours and consist of discussion, demonstration, and hands-on practice. Participants may bring a small item for evaluation and to work on if they wish. All necessary materials will be provided.

The maximum class size is 6 people and early registration is encouraged. The cost is $30 per class for JCHS members or $45 for non-members. All class fees benefit JCHS programs. Interested parties may call 360-385-1003 or come into the Historical Society office at 540 Water Street to register. Payment in advance is required to secure a place in the class.


First Friday Lecture:
History in Your Backyard

The tragic and triumphant story of a pioneering Coast Salish woman will be told by Humanities Washington speaker Llyn De Danaan in “History in Your Backyard,” at the First Friday Lecture on May 6. De Danaan is one of 31cultural experts and scholars selected for the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau to encourage audiences to think, learn, and engage in conversation.

Katie Gale book coverDe Danaan is an anthropologist and author. For the past 15 years, she has studied and written about the history of Japanese Americans, Native Americans and European Americans of the 19th and early 20th century Oyster Bay. Her 2013 book Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman’s Life on Oyster Bay is based on her research. It tells the story of a pioneering Native woman whose extraordinary life swayed wildly between triumphs and tragedies. She will discuss how she discovered local history and how chance, perseverance, and interpretive storytelling can lead writers to find fascinating history in their own communities.

The lecture will begin at 7:00 pm in the Port Townsend city council chamber, 540 Water Street. Admission is free. Donations are always welcome to support historical society programs.

 

JCHS Collections Building

 



April 2016

“Treasure Chest”
Behind-the-Scenes Tours

In celebration of the Jefferson County Historical Society’s 137th birthday, staff and volunteers will give free behind-the-scenes tours of the Historical Research Center on Sunday, April 24 from noon until 3:00 p.m.

Bill Tennent, JCHS executive director said, “The new wing opened in 2012, but many people have never been inside and they wonder what could possibly be in that big red building. We like to think of it as Jefferson County’s treasure chest.”

The center houses over half a million historical artifacts and documents related to Jefferson County history. The $1.6 million expansion added new space for archival storage, artifact processing, exhibit preparation, a conservation laboratory, and a loading dock. Mobile shelving with a variety of drawers, cabinets and closets can accommodate items of all sizes from tiny buttons to large pieces of furniture.

Visitors will get a glimpse of rare documents and unique artifacts ranging from Native American baskets to children’s toys of the 1930s to recent work by local artists.

The Research Center is located at 13694 Airport Cutoff Road (Highway 19).



March 2016

Elwha RiverFIRST FRIDAY LECTURE:
Josh Chenoweth and Elwha Revegetation

If you have ever wondered what you could do with 400,000 plants, 7,000 pounds of seeds and 30,000 native trees, Olympic National Park botanical restorationist Josh Chenoweth will give you an answer at the First Friday Lecture on April 1 when he discusses the revegetation of the Elwha.

Chenoweth is leading the effort to revegetate 800 acres of barren landscape that emerged as the reservoirs on the Elwha River were drained. It is a seven year $4.1 million project.

The program will begin at 7:00 p.m.. in the historic Port Townsend City Council Chamber, 540 Water Street. Admission is free; donations in support of JCHS programs are always appreciated.


Salmon SculptureART WALK:
Persistent Vision: Northwest Native Art

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Art Walk on April 2, 5:30-8:00 p.m. The art exhibit features historic Native American pieces from the Jefferson County Historical Society collection and contemporary work by tribal artists including Joe Ives, Sr. and Jimmy Price, Port Gamble S’Kallam; Marvin Oliver, Quinault and Isleta Pueblo; Bill Martin, Jr., Makah; and Cathy MacGregor and Dusty Humphries, Jamestown S’Klallam.



February 2016

First Friday Lecture:
Maritime World of the Makahs

Book CoverThe First Friday Lecture on March 4 will be given by Joshua L. Reid, author of The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs, a history of the Makahs from the time of contact with Europeans in the 18th century to the present day.

The Sea Is My Country, looks into the historical political structure of the Makahs, their concept of territory, how they controlled their waters and resources, and their use of technology. The book explores the traditional Makah relationship to the sea and their attempts to maintain that relationship in a modern world.

Reid is a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. He has a B.A. from Yale and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis. Reid was born and raised in Washington and is a member of the Snohomish tribe.

The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Port Townsend City Council Chamber, 540 Water Street. There is a suggested donation of $5 which supports historical society programs. For more information call Brooke Weber at 360-385-1003.


NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
FOR PRESERVATION AWARDS

The Jefferson County Historical Society seeks nominations for the annual Historic Preservation Awards. The awards honor individuals and organizations that restore original structures or preserve traditions that form the historic fabric of Jefferson County.

Nomination forms can be found HERE or may be picked up at the JCHS offices in historic City Hall, 540 Water Street, Port Townsend. The deadline for submissions is February 29.



January 2016

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History's major exhibition of more than thirty sculptures by Tom Jay and former clients of Riverdog Foundry will be in place through February 15, 2016. The museum is open weekends only in January and February, and holiday Mondays, January 18 and February 15.

February 5th's First Friday Lecture will feature Tom Jay's presentation on lost wax fine art bronze casting.  The program will begin with a brief history of the bronze casting crafts and traditions and proceed to a step-by-step explanation of casting a monumental bronze sculpture. The lecture will be illustrated by color slides courtesy of Northwest photography legend Mary Randlett.

First Friday lectures are held in the Port Townsend city council chamber, 540 Water Street beginning at 7:00 p.m.



December 2015

FIRST NIGHT
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
OF ART & HERITAGE

December 31, 2015 - 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Admission by donation: suggested $5 per person, $10 for a family. 
Get your pass early at the museum or during the event in the City Hall lobby. All the fun is in and around Port Townsend's Historic City Hall at 540 Water Street.



November 2015

West End Weekend

Kalalock Lodge

Historical society members and friends meet up on the wild west side of Jefferson County every November to enjoy a weekend of exploration at, and around, the beautiful Kalaloch Lodge. A logging theme runs through plans for the Jefferson County Historical Society’s seventh annual West End Weekend November 13-15. For details CLICK HERE.

Kalaloch is headquarters for the event and is offering special rates for Peninsula residents. For reservations, call 866-662-9928 and use promotion code LOCALS.

West End residents are invited to have their stories recorded throughout the weekend by the JCHS Oral History Team. The recordings become part of the oral history collection housed at the JCHS Research Center in Port Townsend.



September 2015

Walking Tours: Sin at Sea Level
& The Moral High Ground

JCHS walking tours of Port Townsend’s historic districts continue through the end of September. Historically costumed guides take visitors on entertaining tours of both Downtown and Uptown, pointing out the interesting architecture, unique history, and colorful characters who built Port Townsend.

Downtown tours called “Sin at Sea Level” are at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays beginning at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History (admission included). Uptown tours called “The Moral High Ground” are at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays beginning at the Rothschild House Museum (admission included). Tours are free for JCHS members and $10 for non-members. To reserve a place on either tour, interested parties are asked to make reservations by noon on the day of the tour by calling 360-385-1003.



August 2015

FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE
Black Paratroopers in Washington State

Robert BartlettOn September 4 the Jefferson County Historical Society and Humanities Washington present Robert L. Bartlett with “The Triple Nickel: Black Paratroopers in Washington State during WWII”. The talk begins at 7:00 p.m. in the historic Port Townsend City Council Chamber.

In May of 1945, an elite unit made up of some of the Army’s best trained paratroopers was assigned to a remote airstrip in Oregon as part of a highly classified mission known as Operation Firefly. This first all-black paratrooper unit’s mission involving Washington State is all but forgotten. Trained by U.S. Forest Service Rangers, members of the 555 jumped some 36 forest fires as first responders, including the 1945 Mt. Baker fire. While helping save the forests and nearby communities, they experienced prejudice and racism while earning military fame as the first all-black “Airborne Infantry Firefighters.”

Bartlett is a Humanities Washington speaker who invites audiences to engage in meaningful conversation. He is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and the son of the late Walter Bartlett, Sr. (Army Air Corps, WWII veteran). He holds two degrees from Colorado Mesa University, a Master’s Degree from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. from Gonzaga University.


Free Day at the Museums

Saturday, September 5 will be a free day for Jefferson County residents at three museums operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society: the Jefferson Museum of Art & History, the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, and the Rothschild House Museum. The first Saturday of each month is “Free Day at the Museums” which is supported by the Port Townsend Arts Commission.


GALLERY WALK
Last Chance “Thomas T. Wilson”

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Gallery Walk on September 5, 5:30-8:00 p.m. It will be the last chance to see “Thomas T. Wilson: The Best Known Unknown Artist in the Northwest” during a Gallery Walk.

Wilson arrived in Port Townsend in 1960 and helped initiate Port Townsend’s artistic revival. The show features portraits, landscapes, and tree images drawn from the Jefferson County Historical Society art collection and loans from private collectors. In the book Thomas T. Wilson: Paintings, published by the University of Washington Press, Wilson was called “the best-known unknown painter in the Northwest.”



June 2015

Loggers in Jefferson CountyFIRST FRIDAY LECTURE:
Olympic Peninsula Logging

The First Friday Lecture on June 5 will feature Jack Zaccardo with the “History of Olympic Peninsula Logging.” The talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the historic Port Townsend City Council Chamber at 540 Water Street. Admission is by donation which supports JCHS programs.

Jack Zaccardo has lectured on logging history for more than 45 years. He is a retired State of Washington Department of Natural Resources forester and is the fourth generation of his family to work in the timber industry. Jack’s great grandfather, an Italian shoemaker, immigrated to the Olympic Peninsula where he found work in the logging industry. His grandfather lived on the Blyn homestead and was a logger, mill owner, and forest fire warden. His father was a logger and mill worker who met his mother when she worked in a logging camp cookhouse.

Zaccardo is the past chairman of the Olympic Logging Conference and past director of the Pacific Logging Congress. He uses his maternal grandfather Bert Kellog’s collection of slides and negatives to show how logging has evolved from 1880 to the 1930s. He will explain the transition from Native American techniques to oxen and horse yarding, to yarding with steam. Other photos of interest illustrate transporting the logs from the woods to the mill with early trucks and railroad as well as images of early workers and settlers.


GALLERY WALK:
Jefferson Museum features
Thomas T. Wilson

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Gallery Walk on June 6, 5:30-8:00. The museum is currently featuring “Thomas T. Wilson: The Best Known Unknown Artist in the Northwest.” Wilson arrived in Port Townsend in 1960 and helped initiate Port Townsend’s artistic revival. The show features portraits, landscapes, and tree images drawn from the Jefferson County Historical Society art collection and loans from private collectors. In the book Thomas T. Wilson: Paintings, published by the University of Washington Press, Wilson was called “the best-known unknown painter in the Northwest.”


Walking Tours: Sin at Sea Level
& The Moral High Ground

JCHS walking tours of Port Townsend’s historic districts begin for the season on June 6 and continue through the end of September. Historically costumed guides take visitors on entertaining tours of both Downtown and Uptown, pointing out the interesting architecture, unique history, and colorful characters who built Port Townsend.

Downtown tours called “Sin at Sea Level” are at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays beginning at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History (admission included). Uptown tours called “The Moral High Ground” are at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays beginning at the Rothschild House Museum (admission included). Tours are free for JCHS members and $10 for non-members. To reserve a place on either tour, interested parties are asked to make reservations by noon on the day of the tour by calling 360-385-1003.

JCHS Executive Director Bill Tennent says, “We have enthusiastic guides who are eager to share their love of Port Townsend’s exciting past with our own residents and visitors. It’s the perfect afternoon getaway without leaving town.”


Heritage Farmers

At the Bishop/Brown Farm in Chimacum on May 20 representatives of the Johnson, Bishop, Ammeter, Huntingford, and Van Trojen families received certificates from the Jefferson County Historical Society honoring their legacy of maintaining their family farms for more than a century.


May 2015

Quimper Grange

Historic Preservation Awards, Wednesday, May 6: Presentations at 3:00 p.m. at the Quimper Grange.



FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE:
Early History of Copper Canyon Press

The First Friday Lecture on May 1 will feature Tree Swenson presenting “The Early History of Copper Canyon Press.” The program will begin at 7:00 pm in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber.

Founded in Denver in 1972 and located in Port Townsend since 1974, Copper Canyon Press is a non-profit that believes poetry is vital to language and living. Copper Canyon has published over 400 titles including new collections by revered and emerging artists, translations of classical works, and re-issues of out-of-print works. Authors have included Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.

A co-founder of Copper Canyon Press, Tree Swenson has been the executive director of Hugo House in Seattle since 2012. She previously served as the executive director of the Academy of American Poets in New York, director of programs for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and as board president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.


Free Day at the Museums

Saturday, May 2 will be a free day for Jefferson County residents at three museums operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society: the Jefferson Museum of Art & History, the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, and the Rothschild House Museum. The first Saturday of each month is “Free Day at the Museums” which is supported by the Port Townsend Arts Commission.

GALLERY WALK: Jefferson Museum features “Thomas T. Wilson”

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Gallery Walk on May 2, 5:30-8:00. The museum is currently featuring “Thomas T. Wilson: The Best Known Unknown Artist in the Northwest.” The show features portraits, landscapes, and tree images drawn from the Jefferson County Historical Society art collection and loans from private collectors.



April 2015

FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE:
Ghost Camps & Boom Towns

The First Friday Lecture on April 3 will feature author JoAnn Roe presenting her book Ghost Camps & Boom Towns. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber AT 540 Water Street.

Roe’s book explores the early boom-and-bust towns and camps in the northwest corner of Washington: mill towns, would-be seaports, lumber and fish centers, and mining camps. Port Discovery will be one focus of her talk, but her book also features the Jefferson County communities of Irondale, Port Hadlock, Port Ludlow, and the Tubal Cain Mine.

Roe, a winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, lives in Bellingham and has authored many books, magazine stories, and newspaper articles about the Northwest. Among her other books are The Columbia River, Blakely: Island in Time, and Stevens Pass: Gateway to Seattle (published by the Mountaineers).



March 2015

“The Best Known Unknown Artist in the Northwest”

Tom Wilson Thomas T. Wilson Exhibit
Opens March 21, 2015
in the Jefferson Museum of Art & History

Wilson arrived in Port Townsend in 1960 and immediately associated with preservationist and cultural leader Mary Johnson, supporting summer arts festivals and helping organize the Port Townsend Summer School for the Arts, a precursor of Centrum. He bartered paintings, often portraits of town residents, for life’s necessities and the citizens of Port Townsend became his extended family. He was fully involved and often the catalyst of Port Townsend’s artistic and cultural revival.

Most of his early paintings still hang in the homes of the original purchasers and are rarely seen in public. In addition to portraits, he is admired for his abstract trees and landscapes. Although the most productive time of his career might have been in Port Townsend in the 1960s, he went on to become a popular painter of Seattle society.

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History, a branch of the Jefferson County Historical Society, is located in Port Townsend’s historic city hall, 540 Water Street and is open daily 11:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE: BATTLE READY

The First Friday Lecture on March 6 will feature author David Hansen presenting his new book Battle Ready: The National Coast Defense System and the Fortification of Puget Sound, 1894-1925 published by Washington State University Press. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber at 540 Water Street.

Hansen’s book explores the creation of the five fortifications that formed one segment of the national system of protection against naval attack on seacoast cities and harbors, Forts Worden, Casey, Flagler, Ward, and Whitman. Although none of the forts ever saw battle, they were most valuable as a strong deterrent.

Hansen first explored Fort Worden as a child on family outings. His fascination with the mysterious abandoned concrete structures he found there eventually led him to become a preservation officer with the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation specializing in military architecture.

Other upcoming 2015 First Friday Lectures will be:
• April 3, JoAnn Roe, Ghost Camps and Boom Towns
• May 1, Tree Swenson, History of Copper Canyon Press
• June 5, Jack Zaccardo, Logging on the Olympic Peninsula
• August 7, Bill Tennent, Along the Outlaw Trail
• September 4, Bob Bartlett, Black Paratroopers in Washington State during WWII
• October 2, Judy D‘Amore and Libby Palmer, History of OPEPO
• November 6, Cheryl Merrill, Living in the Shadow of Elephants



February 2015

he Jefferson Museum of Art & History is open weekends only in January and February, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
FOR PRESERVATION AWARDS

The Jefferson County Historical Society seeks nominations for the annual Historic Preservation Awards. The awards honor individuals and organizations that restore original structures and preserve traditions that form the historic fabric of Jefferson County.

Two types of awards are presented. The Mary P. Johnson Award is given to historic structure projects that meet the Secretary of Interior’s high standards for restoration. Certificates of Appreciation are given for a variety of preservation and restoration projects and are not limited to physical structures.

Any project may be worthy of an award and anyone may nominate a project for consideration. All nominations will be reviewed by the JCHS Historic Preservation Awards Committee. In the past, awards have gone to such major projects as restoring Port Townsend’s City Hall and the Jefferson County Courthouse clock tower, however. restoration of more modest buildings is considered to be equally important.

Non-structure awards have been presented to authors of local histories, museum exhibits, oral history projects, and individuals who have contributed to the preservation of Jefferson County history.

The 2014 awards were given to the Eisenbeis Building, Grace House, American Legion Marvin G. Shields Memorial Post #26, Don Ward for maintaining the Quilcene Cemetery, Sandra McDermott for maintaining the Webster House, Nancy McDaniel for her book Sound Defense, and to the Quilcene Historical Museum for its Oral History Program and for the purchase of the Hamilton-Worthington House.

Nomination forms can be found by clicking HERE or may be picked up at the JCHS headquarters in historic City Hall, 540 Water Street, Port Townsend. The deadline for submissions is February 28.


GALLERY WALK:
JEFFERSON MUSEUM FEATURES
“HEADS & HATS”

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Gallery Walk on February 7, 5:30-8:00. This will be one of the last Gallery Walks to see “Heads & Hats” which will close in March. The exhibit features historic and contemporary portraits and beautiful hats from the Jefferson County Historical Society collection. Pieces date from the mid-1800s to the present by artists including Adeline Willoughby McCormick, Harriet Foster Beecher, Woody Dennis, Branan Ward, Tom Wilson, Leslie Cox and Luke Tornatzky.


Grange Halls of Washington

The Quimper Grange and JCHS are hosting “Grange Halls of Washington, Preservation of Rural and Small Town Community Buildings” a talk by historic preservation consultant Holly Taylor. The program will be Monday February 2 at 7:00 pm at the Quimper Grange, 1219 Corona Street, Port Townsend. Donations will be accepted to help maintain and improve the Quimper Grange Hall.

In an article written for the Washington Trust, Taylor wrote, “One of our state’s cultural treasures, and best-kept preservation secrets, is its remarkable collection of grange halls.” While Grange is often thought of as a Midwestern organization, Washington State has the largest grange membership in the country and the largest number of grange halls in active use. Many halls were purpose-built, but about a third of Washington’s halls were repurposed structures. Taylor wrote that “adaptive reuse is often regarded as a contemporary urban phenomenon, so it is noteworthy that the National Grange embraced ‘recycling’ of rural community buildings almost 90 years ago.” The halls were rarely architectural monuments, but they embodied the collective memories and cultural practices of living communities.

Holly Taylor is from Vashon Island and is a doctoral student at the University of Washington. She has visited and documented over 200 grange halls in Washington State. Her talk will touch on progressive-era history of the Grange and explore preservation issues related to rural and small town community buildings.


FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE:
LIFE ON TATOOSH ISLAND

The First Friday Lecture on February 6 will feature Marrowstone Islander Joanne Pickering with tales of her life on Tatoosh Island. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber.

Pickering lived on Tatoosh Island from 1958 until 1962. Her husband worked for the National Weather Bureau. At a time before Dopler Radar and computers, Tatoosh was a significant location for gathering weather data that was transmitted to the Forecast Center in Seattle.

Pickering’s story is one of an isolated existence including primitive transportation to and from the island that was dependant on jumping from a boat into a basket that was raised up a 100 foot cliff. She will talk about the rugged beauty of the island, the danger, horrific storms, the early history of the Makah, the lighthouse, the weather station, abundant wildlife and the serenity of a most unusual place.



January 2015

HISTORIC FAMILY FARMS

JCHS seeks to recognize the farms of Jefferson County which have been managed and operated by the same family since 1915 or before.

JCHS board member Nancy McDaniel said, “Since the lands of Washington State were first settled, agriculture has been at the heart of communities and state economics. The family farm represents the traditions upon which our state was built. The historical society would like to honor those families who have retained the properties and have continued to follow in the footsteps of the pioneers who established the farms.”

“Jefferson County One Hundred Year Plus Farm” owners need only submit a short statement to: JCHS, 540 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368 describing the farm and identifying the ancestors and current operators. The statement can also be e-mailed to Billtennent@jchswa.org. Farms will be recognized during April, which is JCHS Founders’ Month. Submissions should be mailed no later than March 15, 2015.


FROM FAR AWAY

"From Far Away: Early Settlers and Communities of Jefferson County." This exhibit tells stories of the early days of seaports, logging camps, lumber mills and dairy farms.

Early Settlers Exhibit


Henrietta Maynard's GraveHISTORICAL SOCIETY AND CEMETERY PARTNERSHIP

The Jefferson County Historical Society and the Discovery Bay Cemetery Association have joined forces to preserve an important part of Jefferson County history. The cemetery association was formed on July 7, 2013 and tasked itself with cleaning up of the overgrown cemetery. Donations may be sent to JCHS, 540 Water Street, Port Townsend 98368, ear marked for the cemetery project.

The Jefferson County Genealogical Society maintains databases, maps, and photographs of all of the cemeteries in Jefferson County. For more information about the Discovery Bay Cemetery CLICK HERE.