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As It Was: Harbor, Ore., Celebrates 1917 Fourth of July

In 1917, families from all over the Southern Oregon Coast gathered in Harbor, at the Antler Hotel, for an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration.

The Honorable A.H. Davis gave the main speech, dwelling on the previous year and the role taken by the United States in the great causes of democracy.  He also spoke about the benefits of working together to develop Curry County. 

The stirring speech received hearty applause, and was followed by a group of children carrying flags who marched onto the stage and each recited a version of “Why I Love the Flag.”

The program included singing of patriotic songs and readings of President Woodrow Wilson’s recent speech to the U.S. Senate.

The formalities over, the men and children joined in games and sports while the ladies prepared a picnic in a myrtle tree grove, loaded tables with food, and invited everyone to the feast.

When the sun set and the evening turned soft and warm, lights were strung across the dancing platform and couples danced under the moon into the early morning hours.

Source: "July Fourth Celebrations at Harbor." Gold Beach Reporter, 5 July 1917.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.