On Monday, July 4th, beginning at 8:00 pm, the Lincoln County Historical Society invites all to an Independence Day Celebration at the
Pacific Maritime Heritage Center
Why 150? On July 4th 1866, 150 years ago, Newport was a “town site” a mere square mile in size. It was a “government town,” surrounded by Confederated Tribes of Siletz Reservation land on three sides and the ocean on the other. In July 1866, the Ocean House Hotel, the first resort hotel on the Oregon Coast was under construction on a hillside above Yaquina Bay where the present day Coast Guard Station is located.
To celebrate the 90th year of American Independence in 1866, some 700 people from the area (then Benton County) gathered at the construction site of the Ocean House. The crowd included 300 residents of the Siletz Reservation. The US flag was ceremoniously raised, a prayer given, songs sung, speeches given, the Declaration of Independence recited, and much food was consumed. If our witness is to be believed, it was on that very day, 150 years ago, the name “Newport” was chosen for this small unofficial town site with big dreams. Along with the name “Newport,” someone in the crowd, an aspiring promoter for a non-existent chamber of commerce, designated Newport, “the germ of the San Francisco of Oregon.”
It was not until 1875 that the US government fully relinquished control of what we now know as Newport to its principal claimant, Sam Case, owner of the Ocean House Hotel and former employee of the Siletz Reservation. In 1882 Newport formerly incorporated as a city.
A Benefit for the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center
Festivities will include unmatched views of the Bayfront Fireworks and dancing to the fabulous local band, The Renovators. Goodies and beverages will be served. In addition, attendees will have access to all current exhibits at the museum and enjoy browsing through the gift shop.
For this special event the popular Great Room will be cleared out for music and dancing. Seating on the deck (weather permitting) for the best fireworks view anywhere. The Renovators will begin playing at 8:00 and break for the fireworks. After the fireworks they will resume playing, so guests can be entertained for a while until the notorious Bayfront post-fireworks traffic eases up.
Proceeds from this celebratory evening will go towards renovation of the Maritime Center, currently in its second phase, which will feature the much anticipated Doerfler Family Theatre. Funds raised will be applied to a dollar-for-dollar $45,000 challenge grant recently awarded by The Collins Foundation.
Admission to the fundraiser is $25 for Adults, and $15 for Children 12 and under. Members receive a $5 Discount. Tickets are available for purchase at The Burrows House Museum and Maritime Center, by phone, or at the door.
Parking will be at an absolute premium for this event, and attendees are encouraged to walk, bicycle, car pool, or catch a cab to the Bayfront. Because this is a fundraiser, there will be no discounts or free admissions. For more information, or to buy tickets by phone, call 541-265-7509.