By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“There's just something about this place we all call home; this place of Sequim,” Mayor Ken Hays said.
“It's a very, very special place.
“And what is a town but a promise — a commitment to the future?”
A crowd of more than 150 shared cake and toasted the city with champagne Saturday night at the Centennial Finale Dinner in Club Seven at the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe's casino.
Sequim was officially incorporated as a city Oct. 31, 1913.
Hays welcomed the crowd with a greeting in the Klallam language before turning the ceremony over to keynote speaker Ron Allen, tribal chairman.
“One hundred and one years ago, there were only Indians here,” Allen joked before praising the century of cooperation between the city and the tribe.
“We are a sharing community. We co-exist. We live together,” the chairman said. “And we have done so in harmony all this time.”
Hays said the tribe's spirit helped keep the European settlers that founded the city connected with the area's rich natural resources.
“Their culture and heritage . . . creates a connection for all of us,” Hays said.
“Also, thanks for paying for the champagne.”
Allen said the tribe's decision to remain independent and not be confined to a reservation led to a century of cooperative existence, with Native Americans and European settlers working side by side in the Dungeness Valley's farming, fishing and timber industries.
“How did we find that common ground?” he asked.
“And where do we come together and how do we work together for the next 100 years?”
Hays recounted predictions he found in a Ladies Home Journal magazine article from 100 years ago that said goods would shipped around the city in pneumatic tubes by now.
He also found other predictions for the next 100 years, including one that predicted bacterial pavement will be developed that will repair itself.
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, also gave an “inspirational” speech.
“I know these days when you think inspiration, you think Congress,” Kilmer said.
He noted that 1913 saw the inventions of stainless steel, parachutes and the forward pass in football — and the births of Richard Nixon and Jimmy Hoffa.
“But, of course, the highlight of that year was the creation of Sequim,” he said.
Members of the City Council marked the city's birthday by cutting a special yellow-and-black cake made by Sequim bakery That Takes the Cake.
The city's centennial included a number of commemorative events.
It began in October 2012 with a breakfast at the Sequim Prairie Grange and a kick-off dinner at the Holiday Inn Express hotel.
Events throughout the year included a special recognition during May's Irrigation Festival, a special Fourth of July picnic and street dance on the fifth of July.
There also were a number of art projects, including handpainted tiles, vinyl art wraps around utility boxes and milk cans painted to reflect the city's dairy heritage.
The milk cans, painted by local artists, are being auctioned off.
They will be displayed in the Museum and Arts Center, 175 W. Cedar St., through the rest of this week, when the auction will end.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.