Happy Birthday, North Powder

June 27, 2002 11:00 pm
The 1903 North Powder Concert Band. Back Row, left to right: Carl Miller, Mark Gilkison, Chet Hansen, Ray Brown, Oey Lee, Darl Denning, Elmer McAlister, Volney Lee, Walter O'Bryant, Mr. Hendricks (Band Master). Sitting in back row: Melvin Olsen, Jim Dalton, Walter Jones, Walter McGrath, an unknown Hendricks,  and little Eddie Murphy on the drum. Front Row: Walter Goldsberry, Mr. Brown, Henry Miller, Ralph Hansen, Ed Murphy. (Submitted photograph).
The 1903 North Powder Concert Band. Back Row, left to right: Carl Miller, Mark Gilkison, Chet Hansen, Ray Brown, Oey Lee, Darl Denning, Elmer McAlister, Volney Lee, Walter O'Bryant, Mr. Hendricks (Band Master). Sitting in back row: Melvin Olsen, Jim Dalton, Walter Jones, Walter McGrath, an unknown Hendricks, and little Eddie Murphy on the drum. Front Row: Walter Goldsberry, Mr. Brown, Henry Miller, Ralph Hansen, Ed Murphy. (Submitted photograph).

By BRENNA KNOWLES

Of the Baker City Herald

Cheryl Martin had the same idea as her grandfather's grandfather L.S. Kelsey.

In 1906 Kelsey and community members built a band stand in North Powder. It was torn down in the late 1950s. In 2002 Martin along with community leaders and volunteers from Powder Valley High School's wood shop class built a new band stand to mark the centennial of North Powder's incorporation.

Martin said she came up with the band stand idea in early March and didn't discover that she was following in Kelsey's footsteps until two weeks ago when she was organizing documents and photographs for the temporary museum that will be set up on E street for the all day North Powder Centennial Celebration on June 29.

When Martin discovered the connection to her relative she she thought, "This is just so cool."

Martin, 47, said she remembered the band stand as the focal point of community events when she was young and that the North Powder community thought "building a new one would be an appropriate and useful addition to the town."

"We wanted something to commemorate the centennial that would last long after the party," Martin said. "We've planned a fun day. Now all we need is people to enjoy the fun, and good weather."

Vickie Townsend, a North Powder resident and city councilwoman said community leaders have been working since February to secure funds for the celebration because "North Powder is not a raging town with a lot of money."

Townsend said $350 came from the La Grande/Union County Visitors and Conventions Bureau a $250 grant came from SOLV, the statewide Oregon non-profit organization founded in 1969 by Governor Tom McCall and a $2575 grant came from the Union County Transient Occupancy tax fund. Townsend said the centennial celebration committee raised an additional $2500 from local donations.

"I absolutely love this town and doing things for this town," Townsend said, "It's going to be a blast."

Townsend said the centennial celebration "will be like a big circus, you can just go pick what you want to do."

People with connections to Powder Valley School can attend the All School Annual Reunion Breakfast from 7-11 a.m. at 333 G St. Reunion organizer Kay Patterson said this is the third all school reunion the school has hosted. Pancakes, eggs, ham and sausage will be served. Patterson said there is no charge for the breakfast but donations will be accepted to cover the cost of the breakfast and fund next year's reunion.

At 9:15 a.m. the parade line up and judging will begin behind the Evans Corner Grocery Store. The parade will start at 10 a.m. and flow East on Second Street then North on E Street/ Old Oregon Trail Road. George Russell and Leslie Bingham will sing the national anthem for the parade.

Food booths and local artists will sell their products on Second and E Streets from 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the same time, antique tractors and engines will be on display and a pickle barrel, for games and socializing, will be set up in the Grange Hall on E Street. Townsend said checkers and coffee will be provided at the pickle barrel. "It will be a fun place to sit, rest and get out of the heat," she said.

Photographs of North Powder through the years, including Kelsey, and artifacts from North Powder's past will be on display from 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. in a temporary museum on E Street and 20 quilts will be featured in a show at the Methodist church.

George Russell said he and the 12 local musicians that make up the North Powder Community Band "will make some noise" for the centennial celebration. Russell is the volunteer band director for the group. He said they have been practicing twice a week since May to prepare for the event. They will preform in the parade and at 4:30 p.m. in the new band stand.

North Powder resident Susan Bender organized the musical groups that will perform all day in the new band stand. She said the entertainment starts at 10:45 with Trio and Trumpet, Country Soul and Conventional Quartet. At 12:15 Rick Hart will play country western music and recite cowboy poetry. He will also share stories about his great great grandfather who was a circuit rider. At 1:15 p.m. Shirley Keagle will yodel and play the harmonica. The Children's Theatre will present The Three Billy Goat's Gruff Go Calypso at 1:45 p.m. and The Kerns Family will play at 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. Marihelen Ciesiel will present A Piece of Life on the Oregon Trail followed by a youth band, Threshing Floor, the North Powder Community Band, Salt Lick #39 and David and Carla Arnold and Friends.

North Powder Centennial Celebration: Schedule of Events

Unless noted events will take place along E Street/Old Oregon Trail Road and Second Street

July 28:

At 6 p.m. two ribbon cutting ceremonies will be held at the band stand and a new business, Powder Valley Scales Inc. A tree planting and time capsule burying ceremony is also planned.

July 29:

7-11 a.m. All-School Annual Reunion Breakfast at Powder Valley School

10 a.m. Parade

11 a.m. Softball Tournament at Powder Valley School

10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Craft vendors, food booths, museum, quilt show, National Antique Tractor & Engine Exhibit and "Pickle Barrel"

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Antique Fire Truck Rides

12 p.m. Centennial Invocation and Mayoral Proclamation

2 p.m. Bake off at the Grange Hall. Pie, cake, bread and cookie entries should be in place by 1:30.

1-3 p.m. Horse Drawn Wagon Rides

11a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids crafts at the North Powder Public Library and Petting Zoo at Third and D Street.

2:30-4-30 p.m. Pioneer Games at Third and D Street

5:00 p.m. Dutch Oven Cookoff Judging.

5:30-8 p.m. The North Powder Chapter of the FFA will have a Glorious Beef Barbeque. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 children under 12.

7-8p.m. Folk Dance Lessons

8-11 p.m. Centennial Folk Dance