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Viewfinder: Enumclaw Celebrates 100 Years

The Expo Center Field House was at capacity Sunday night as the community gathered to celebrate the city's centennial.

The Enumclaw Expo Center Field House was filled to capacity Sunday night for the first ever Centennial celebration of the city's incorporation which took place exactly 100 years prior on Jan. 27, 1913.

Local leaders and citizens enjoyed a simple, family-style meal prepared by Rainier Catering and served by members of the Enumclaw Garden Club, while sitting in long tables to better facilitate conversation and the sharing of stories, which was the theme of the evening.

Participants were treated to a Native American greeting, courtesy of the Muckleshoot Canoe Family and Muckleshoot Elder Virginia Cross. (See accompanying video)

Author Louise Poppleton, who wrote There is Only One Enumclaw, shared some of her extensive knowledge of local history, as did students in Jody Emerson's fourth grade class at Southwood Elementary.

Hope Lutheran Pastor Dan Wilson delivered the evening's blessing. While everyone feasted, a video program created by Enumclaw High School students Zach McCowin and Shay Larsen, with direction from teacher Doug Wolff, played that highlighted interviews with local seniors about growing up in Enumclaw.

Enumclaw High School graduates Sharon Calvert, of the Muckleshoot Tribe, and Buddy Kirk shared their reflections about the trials and triumphs of growing up as minorities in the community.

King County Executive Dow Constantine shared his appreciation for Enumclaw both as it marches toward the future with environmental endeavors such as the recently opened digester facility off State Route 164, and as it honors its farming heritage and continues to help King County retain a dominant presence in state agriculture.

Constantine and King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn also shared a proclamation that Jan. 27, 2013 was Enumclaw Day in King County.

The program was rounded out by Scott Gray of The Enumclaw Courier-Herald introducing the Enumclaw Legacy Project which organizers hope to launch at the next of three signature Centennial celebration events on July 4. It will be a high-tech, crowd-sourcing version of a historical walking tour that takes advantage of technology provided by a company called STQRY and the wealth of knowledge from the community.

"If our historic buildings in Enumclaw could talk, what would be their stories?" summed up Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds.

The night ended with a view toward Enumclaw's future as three children were invited on stage to answer questions from emcee Darrell Miller. In the tradition of Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darndest Things, the children were asked questions like what their favorite subjects are in school, what animal they'd like to be able to talk to, and what business they'd like to see open in Enumclaw.

That last question may prove useful to Enumclaw leaders looking toward economic development. One child had to think about it, but the other two did not hestitate with their input: 'a toy store' and 'Red Robin.'

Quotes from the night:

"Our history is an ever-evolving continuum of time." - Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds

"...we were here, and probably welcomed you 100 years ago..." - Muckleshoot Elder Virginia Cross

"...you have blessed us with those good gifts ... 100 years of blessings, 100 years of building a beautiful future for all..." - Hope Lutheran Pastor Dan Wilson

"Enumclaw was a wonderful town for us..." - Buddy Kirk

"It's a small city that never lost its small town feel." - King County Executive Dow Constantine

More Centennial: Visit www.enumclawcentennial.com for ongoing information about two more signature events this year honor the city's 100th year, as well as how your organization can also join in the celebration.

More Centennial on Patch:

Keep Talking: Let's move the dinner conversation online - share with us your own history in Enumclaw: when did you move here, what is one fond memory of growing up here, and what advice would you give to a newcomer? Tell us in the comments.

Doreen Anderson January 29, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Thanks April, for your coverage of the Centennial Dinner. How did you get this written and posted by 10:30 last night?! We all appreciate it. I heard from someone who missed getting tickets, and she was glad to have the report and pictures to get the feel of the celebration. We had fun adding pictures today, too. We felt surrounded by history at the event, and, as relative newcomers, part of it. John and I had been reading about the Puttman-Kincades of Krain this weekend and both had written something about them. By chance, the man sitting next to me at dinner turned and said, "I'm Jim Puttman, and I've lived here 85 years." So we had a conversation starter already as I'd written about his grandpa's various spellings of his name. Across from us were Charles and Nancy Berg. Charles has lived here more than 90 years. It's thanks to his efforts that we all are seeing the historic photographs of his father-in-law Karl Jensen as he makes accessible printed and digital images from a collection of the old dry-plate negatives. We're valuing "history" more and more ourselves, and hoping older folks are writing down memories, or telling them for younger folks to write down. (Maybe write some on Patch for us all to share!)
John Loftus January 30, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Virginia Cross is listed above as an elder of the Muckleshoot Tribe, which indeed she is. In addition, it may be noteworthy to add that she is also Chair of the Muckleshoot Tribal Council.

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