While the business names and building facades have changed over the years, Sequim’s downtown core remains awash with tangible links to the past — provided one knows where to look.
Such connections will be revealed during the Museum & Arts Center’s Sequim History Walking Tour, a new Sequim Irrigation Festival event, on Friday, May 10. Longtime locals Judy Reandeau Stipe and Jan Olts will join MAC Executive Director DJ Bassett as tour guides on a morning and afternoon tour that highlights buildings, events and people that shaped local history.
“We’re going beyond what’s there now, past the veneer, to uncover what used to be and what made this town tick,” Bassett said of the tour. “When you walk by a building after learning those kinds of details, the feeling of its history just washes over you.”
Tour times are 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and both tours follow the same downtown route. A total of 8-10 locations will be featured on the tour, which begins and ends at the MAC Exhibit Center, 175 W. Cedar St., and lasts 45-60 minutes.
Among the current and former buildings being highlighted are the old IOOF Hall/Howard Wood Theater, Dresden Theatre, Sinclair Hotel, Bank of Sequim, Sequim Trading Company and Sequim Opera House.
The tour does not include building interiors and the terrain is flat.
“As the main street of Sequim developed, many buildings served more than one purpose to accommodate the needs of the citizens at the time,” noted Stipe, editor of the book “Out of Dreams Into Realities: Our Class History” produced by the Sequim High School Class of 1962 last year.
“The placement of the traffic light at the intersection of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue in 1940 made it easier not to get hit by a loaded logging truck, a milk tank truck racing to the creamery or a load of hay bales,” said Stipe.
Tickets for the morning and afternoon tours are $10 per person and may be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis on tour day at the MAC Exhibit Center, which opens at 10 a.m. Each tour is limited to 20 people and a commemorative brochure is included with each ticket purchased.
“We’ve seen many changes as the population grew. These tours give those who have moved here in the last 50 years an idea of how the town developed,” Stipe said. “The stories are amazing, heartwarming and humorous.”
Visit www.macsequim.org or call 683-8110 for details.