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Updated 11:00am - Nov 26, 2014

Home arrow News arrow Northcoast Life arrow How the Fourth was celebrated 50 years ago

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How the Fourth was celebrated 50 years ago

Sharon McKinney

Fifty years ago, Chairman Bill Boone, announced that Crescent City was prepared for "One of the biggest Fourth of July celebrations in the city's history." It was the 28th year that Boone led the Fourth festivities. He was the impetus for this major event. There is a monument to him in Beachfront Park as it was the heart of the community activities.

The newly formed Junior Chamber of Commerce created a float that took first place in the parade. Their red and white flowered float featured two bathing beauties, Sharon Jones and Mary Hallmark. It was one of the warmest, sunniest days of the summer to the delight of the visitors.

Other floats that received awards were entries by the Indian Welfare, the Foursquare Church, the Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority, the Moosehead Lodge and Jobs Daughters. A line of trucks called Industry on Parade was part of the fun. The crowd of onlookers cheered the procession as it marched toward parade's end at the beach. At that time, the area that is now Beachfront Park was a sand dune. It was used much as it is now with booths and attractions. Fifty years ago, the major feature was a merry-go-round. Children lined up for this exciting opportunity.

A redwood attraction

Curly Redwood Lodge opened in July 1957. Contractor Warren Richardson was proud to show off the unique features of the building. The beautiful curly redwood came from trees owned by Tommy and Lucille Wyllie who were the proprietors. It was especially milled for this purpose by George C. Jacobs Company on Northcrest Drive. The 26 units plus owner's apartment featured television, electric heat and pure well water. It was the newest and most modern building in the county.All the redwood came from one tree that was felled in Klamath Glen in 1952. It was a rare tree in that it was curly right to the tips of the branches. The tree was 85 feet tall, and over 18 feet in circumference. It was a grand addition to Crescent City and a tourist attraction.

Coast Guard Patrol Boat

Another asset to the area in July of 1957 was the Coast Guard Patrol Boat. The 83-foot boat needed a proper place and the harbor needed to construct a docking facility, electric power, water and a rain tight building for the personnel paid for by the community. Commander Neilson of Humboldt Bay said that ten officers and men would work at the site. This was the culmination of many hours of work by The Triplicate, the Board of Supervisors, Crescent City fishermen and other groups interested in the safety of those who use the port. The county coroner, Norman Weir, stated that a drowning that occurred recently was "uncalled for and could have been avoided." The need was urgent and the Coast Guard was advised by Congressman Scudder to expedite the patrol boat's arrival in the port.

Sharon McKinney is a Del Norte Historical Society volunteer.

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