Historians seek information about unusual stage backdrop

PORT TOWNSEND — The colors are still bright and the letters as sharp as the day they were painted.

But when that day was — and for what purpose — is unclear.

“It’s a mystery,” said Bill Tennent, director of the Jefferson County Historical Society.

The object in question: an 8-foot-high, 17-foot-wide scenic backdrop that has been leaning against the stage wall of the John F. Kennedy Building at Fort Worden State Park for at least a decade.

With remodeling of the building in process, the backdrop is in the workers’ way and in need of a new home.

But before the historical society considers adoption, Tennent would like to know how old it is.

“It doesn’t have to be 100 years old,” Tennent said.

“If it was used while the fort was in operation, between 1904 and 1953, then we would be very interested.”

The building itself dates to World War II, according to Denis La Brie, owner of Cherry Street Builders, the company doing the remodeling.

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