Benjamin August Arndt the Forks Forums first Editor/Publisher, portrait painted sometime in the 1930s. Forks Timber Museum

Benjamin August Arndt the Forks Forums first Editor/Publisher, portrait painted sometime in the 1930s. Forks Timber Museum

4th of July recap and Forks Forum Birthday

  • Mon Jul 16th, 2018 8:42am
  • Life

4th parade recap

In mid-June, applications for the Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July parade were looking pitiful, as only about 30 had been returned. Organizers were a little concerned that with the Port Angeles parade and the Lake Crescent road work many people might not want to make the trip.

So the morning of the Fourth I headed to the registration table a little after 7 a.m., and I was a little worried. I made a few extra applications and I had printed 60 numbers to place on the entries, not anticipating using them all. But things got rolling fast; the application were gone asap and I was using every available piece of paper to make more numbers.

In the end the parade had 85 entries, not including the demo cars.

Rain of Terror was the first to arrive and more kept coming right up until the entries were leaving Outfitters parking lot!

Thanks to Don James for the use of his vehicles for the Tourist of the Day and the Pioneer Logger Award winner, and thanks to the man from Arizona that drove Don home and brought the car back, because I couldn’t leave the registration table.

Thanks to all that participated and all that came to watch. For a Wednesday parade, the number of spectators was amazing too!

I hope everyone enjoyed the parade!

Still to come next week; 4th photo show winners, parade results, Kiddies Playday winners, Cribbage Tournament winners, Horseshoe Tournament results and any other loose ends.

Forks Forum birthday

About a year ago I was contacted by an author named Bill Lindstrom; he is writing a book about the history of newspapers and radio in Clallam County. He had pinned down the first Forks Forum to July 1930 and had a man named E.J Beard as the first editor/publisher.

The problem was there were no known copies of the Forks Forum in existence until about 1934 —none in the local library, none in the state library. Here at the Forks Forum office I have a couple dozen from the mid- to late 1930s, but that is all.

While looking through a Polk Directory for 1932 — in case you don’t know, the Polk Company has produced directories for every major city in the U.S. since 1870 — I found an advertisement for the Forks Forum and it had Benjamin A. Arndt as Editor/Publisher. This was news to Lindstrom. I also remembered when I read this information that the Forks Timber Museum had a portrait of Arndt painted in the 1930s.

Then, just a couple weeks ago, I got a call from Karyn (James) Markin. She was going through some family papers of Bill James, her father, and called to ask if I would like a copy of the first Forks Forum. Like a copy!? I was ecstatic! The newspaper had been saved by her grandfather J.E.L. James, an early resident and businessman in the West End. J.E.L. had noted on the top, in pencil, to not destroy this newspaper.

So Lindstrom is now rewriting the Forks Forum section to include Arndt and change the date of the first paper. After looking at some of the old editions I noticed for some reason in 1936 the volume number should have been No. 5 and it was printed as volume 6, so that caused the confusion on when the first newspaper had come out.

The first subscriber of the Forks Forum was noted on the front page of the July 16, 1931 paper: it was Theodore Rixon. The Rixon home was/is near Sappho. Other exciting news in that first edition was the opening of the Olympic Loop Highway, and people would soon be able to drive south.

Other items of interest: there had been a forest fire near Bear Creek, oil drilling activity near the Hoh, tomatoes were 11 cents a can at Shores grocery store, Dan Shearer had attended the Elk’s Convention in Seattle, the Olympic Theater was showing “Rango” and “Not exactly Gentleman” and a new fire siren had been installed on the new fire hall.

Thanks so much to the James family for not throwing this paper out! and thanks to Karyn for the phone call. If she had not called, Benjamin Arndt’s place in the history of this newspaper may have never been acknowledged.

Christi Baron, Editor

 

The first Forks Forum published, July 16, 1931, originally saved by J.E.L. James and recently rediscovered by his descendants.

The first Forks Forum published, July 16, 1931, originally saved by J.E.L. James and recently rediscovered by his descendants.