Port Angeles: Dozens get sneak preview of new historical museum

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Historical Society rolled out the red carpet Saturday as about a hundred people celebrated the reopening of the historic Carnegie Library.

Once the hand-woven cedar ribbon was cut from across the entry, the crowd moved like a mudslide through the front door and up the stairs into a sunny space filled with tales of the county’s past and the smell of something new.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Jane McLaughlin of Port Angeles, who peered at period clothing and black-and-white photographs hanging on the exhibit walls.

At 94, McLaughlin is just eight years older than the high-ceilinged brick building and recalls numerous visits to the Carnegie over the years as it housed the city’s public library.

Now, thanks to more than $1 million and about five years of volunteer efforts, the restored two-story building is home to the Historical Society’s Museum at the Carnegie.

The city of Port Angeles, Clallam County, Port Angeles School District, North Olympic Library System and local tribes all partnered on the building’s restoration, said Frank Duccesci, past president of the Historical Society.

Some of the funding for its renovation came from a $300,000 grant from the federal Save America’s Treasures program, earmarked by U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton, who spoke at Saturday’s opening ceremony.

“I can’t think of a better example of what that money should be used for than this structure,” said Dicks.

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