Port Townsend: History’s Mystery resolution reveals tangled plot

PORT TOWNSEND — It wasn’t so much a case of whodunit as who didn’t.

“Are there any scalawags in this courtroom who aren’t mixed up in this somewhere?” Judge James Swan asked.

Swan, portrayed by Milt Morris, presided Sunday at the final scene of “History’s Mystery,” an interactive game which took place on Water Street during Victorian Festival weekend.

After collecting clues and quizzing suspects, amateur sleuths handed in their guesses and gathered in City Hall chambers to find out who was in on the plot to smuggle opium on the Victoria to Port Townsend ferry, an actual case in 1893.

“I just want to say I’m so sorry that I’ve caused so much trouble for so many nice people,” accused smuggler Hattie Stratton said contritely after the other suspects had pleaded innocent to any wrongdoing.

Hattie was portrayed by Ashanti Stern.

In the end, four other people were implicated in the crime, including Hattie’s lawyer, played by Dennis Gregg, and customs inspector W. F. Learned, who were both in on the deal, Swan said.

Hattie’s mother, played by Catherine McNabb, was fined $100 for making underwear for illegal purposes, aided by Daisy (Mel Fitzmorris), the housekeeper at the Rothschild House, despite a plea for her innocence sung by her husband to the tune of “Danny Boy.”

More in News

Hilary Soderling of Kirkland, left, and her mother, Lou Ann Soderling of Port Angeles, participate in Saturday’s rally at the Clallam County Courthouse. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Overturning Roe v. Wade draws protests

Rally participants: Decision doesn’t represent majority

Bruce Colfax was one of many Makah who worked at the Ozette excavation that ran for 11 years starting in 1970. Colfax, an artist whose wood carvings, sculpture and prints belong in private and public collections across the country, is a former member of the Makah Cultural & Research Center board of trustees whose role it is to protect the artifacts found at the site. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Cultural, research center celebrates 43rd anniversary

Ozette village artifacts preserved after excavation

Churches seek household items for Ukrainian refugees

Collection drives to be conducted for kits

OlyCAP theft forces rescheduling of food deliveries

Distribution center trucks damaged

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Gov. Inslee seeks abortion rights amendment to state constitution

Says Washington won’t aid investigation from other states

Lawsuit filed against Washington State Patrol official over breath test machines

A lawsuit filed against the Washington State Patrol official responsible… Continue reading

Vote now for Best of the Peninsula

It’s time again to vote for the Best of the Peninsula. Now… Continue reading

Most Read