Model makers cut military history down to size

PORT TOWNSEND — Echoes of the past resound at Fort Worden State Park.

The mammoth gun emplacements overlooking Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca speak of the era when the fort was a crucial link in the region’s coastal defenses.

Practice projectiles heavier than a small car flank the steps of the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, projectiles that took crews of up to 44 men to load and shoot from multi-ton guns.

Inside the museum are small reminders of what the guns were designed to defend against, as well as what made those defenses obsolete — scale models of warships and airplanes built by the North Olympic Peninsula Modelers Society.

To thank the modelers for their contribution, Bill Roney, museum director, presented a plaque this week to modelers society president Larry Speelman in the wing of the museum where the models are displayed.

“Through their museum-quality models, they have enabled us to tell the story of advances in technology that changed coastal defense forever,” Roney said.

“Any tacit position was at risk. The models follow that line of development.”

Monetary contribution

Roney also gave the club a monetary contribution on behalf of the museum, which will be used to buy model kits for the club’s second annual Make ‘N Take during JeffCo Expo at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on April 23 and 24.

At the event, children 7 and up receive a free car or airplane model and help putting it together.

“We had 30 kids doing models last year,” Speelman said.

“This year we hope to double that.”

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