Monday Mystery

Which genealogical society in the state is in the most northwestern corner? The Clallam County Genealogical Society!

This little-but-thriving group, organized first in 1981, owns its own building, and boasts a library of over 3,000 books. The main thrust of their collection is Clallam County materials and boy-oh-boy do they have a gold mine of information.

Now you may think genealogy in this far-northwest county would be mostly of Native Americans. Hardly. A dear friend who is fourth generation living there told how her Civil War widowed great grandmother came from the Midwest to Port Angeles in 1896. Think of that journey! By rail to Seattle and then by boat to Port Angeles as there were no roads. One reason might have been that President Abraham Lincoln had established Fort Worden nearby in Port Townsend and had set aside land in Port Angeles for Civil War soldiers.

The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) had a very active post in Port Angeles beginning in 1889. In 1892, a soldiers’ colony from Michigan relocated to the area to work in the timber industry.

The 1900 population of Port Angeles was nearing 2500 souls. And they came from somewhere else, mostly.

Next time you think to visit the Olympic Peninsula, stop in at the Clallam County Genealogical Society. It’s worth your time for sure.