Three presented with Heritage Award in Clallam
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Kathy Monds, executive director of the Clallam County Historical Society, presents the 2013 Heritage Award to, from left, Margaret Owens of Joyce, Irene Wyman of Port Angeles and Renee Mizar of Sequim. -- Photo by rwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Three Clallam County residents and community historians were presented with the Clallam County Historical Society’s Heritage Award for their contributions to preserving the county’s history.

Renee Mizar of Sequim, Margaret Owens of Joyce and Irene Wyman of Port Angeles each was presented with the award at a Sunday afternoon ceremony at the society’s annual meeting at First United Methodist and Congregational Church, 110 E. Seventh St.

About 70 members of the society were present at the meeting, where the three women were given the award by Kathy Monds, executive director of the historical society.

Mizar, communications coordinator and executive assistant at the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, received the award for her work in the preservation of the history of Sequim.

“I like living in a place where history is appreciated and preservation is active and ongoing,” she said.

Mizar said that she prefers to write but that her success is only one part of the MAC team.

“It is very much a group effort,” she said.

Owens, manager of the Joyce Depot Museum, received the award for her museum work and in researching the history of Joyce.

“She keeps the Joyce Depot Museum up and running,” Monds said.

Monds said that Owens knows the lineage of the families in the area and is helpful with any requests from the public.

“The community trusts her with rare and previously unknown historical photos,” she said.

Owens said her fascination with local history began as a way to satisfy her own curiosity.

A 40-year resident, Owens said she realized 10 years ago that she had no idea how the town got its name.

“What began as a part-time job became a full-time obsession,” Owens said.

She’s still researching.

The museum, one block east of the Joyce General Store in the community west of Port Angeles on state Highway 112, displays railroad memorabilia and history dating back to when tracks passed through the area, as well as photos and artifacts of Port Crescent, Gettysburg, Disque, Twin, Piedmont, Fort Hayden at Tongue Point, Lake Crescent, Sol Duc and, of course, Joyce.

Wyman, retired teacher and volunteer with the Clallam County Historical Society, received the award for her contributions in recording the history of Clallam County’s schools and teachers, Monds said.

Monds said Wyman has been instrumental in identifying and preparing artifacts, and has created the “mystery box” for students to learn about old utensils used by early residents of the county.

Wyman thanked her husband, Lee Wyman, who already had some Clallam knowledge and was able to take her to the sites where old school buildings remain, or where they once existed.

She is the author of two Clallam County historical books: Clallam County Schools: East to West and School Marms and Masters and the Bells They Rang.

To wrap up the society’s year, Monds noted that public interest in the county’s history changes from year to year.

Monds said that if 2011-12 was the year when the society was kept busy answering for requests to research the history of the Elwha River and the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams, 2012-13 has been the year of Port Angeles’ Lincoln Park, its trees and the airport.

A Federal Aviation Administration regulation calls for many of the firs in the park, which is in the flight approach, to be removed so that a portion of the runway at William R. Fairchild International Airport can be resurrected.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 02. 2013 6:02PM
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