It was great fun learning more about our local history and trivia while writing this month’s column. At the same time it was challenging to determine which facts to include as there are so many fascinating ones. I trust you will enjoy this as much as I did.
Hurricane Ridge received its name because sometimes the winds blow across the ridge faster than 70 miles per hour.
The Dungeness River is only 32 miles (51 kilometers) long with an elevation drop of 4,000 feet (1.22 kilometers). This makes the Dungeness of one of the shortest rivers with one of the deepest drops in North America.
The Olympic National Forest is the largest temporal rainforest in the lower 48 states.
The brown slug was inadvertently imported via Chinese merchant ships. However, the yellow Banana Slug is native to this area and helps the food chain by consuming debris and by moving seed.
The Dungeness Spit is nearly seven miles long and grows approximately thirteen feet a year. The annual rainfall around the lighthouse is nine inches, seven-to-eight inches less than the rainfall in Sequim.
One of the first hotels on the peninsula used cheesecloth, hanging from the ceiling, to create walls between the individual rooms.
The first Sequim school bus was a buckboard wagon pulled by two horses. The wagon contained seats for the children to sit on and had an open-sided canvas roof.
The little museum on Cedar Street used to be the post office, and each box had a combination lock.
The first settlers to the valley arrived at “New Dungeness” in 1851 when we were still a part of the Oregon Territory. Washington Territory was founded in 1853.
In 1875 the Dungeness was the first lighthouse on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to be lit. Some sources said the first fuel used was lard. The original tower was 100 feet (30 meters) high. By 1927 the structural damage was severe and repairs included lowering the tower to its current 63 feet (19 meters).
Diamond Point was once called Clallam Point. In 1892 the government purchased the land to build a Quarantine Station since the hospital in Port Townsend was overflowing because of the Cholera pandemic. In 1894 the government built a disinfecting plant and then a building for lepers.
Before 1931 people would ride the train to Port Townsend and then take a ferry in order to reach Seattle. The trip was four-and-a-half hours long and cost $2.25.
According to several sources the grain elevator on Washington Street was built in 1945 and remained in operation until 1977. It is still the tallest building in town at 85 feet tall. Other sources said it was built in 1929.
In 1965 when Manny Lindgren moved his family to Sequim there was one traffic light in town, at the intersection of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street. He told his children the light was there so people had to stop and realize there really was a town here. The population at that time was less than 1,400.
In the 1970s, some children still rode their horses to school. On rare occasions one 14-year-old would drive his tractor to school. He had a special license for driving it.
As late as the 1980s many high school boys would drive to school with their rifles mounted on racks in the cab of their trucks. When school let out for the day, those boys went hunting.
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Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, Crystal enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family See crystallinn.com.