Exploring history: Fourth of July booth, new space for Tolt Historical Society

Tolt Historical Society leader Isabel Jones shows off a portrait of Elmer Sorenson, Carnation’s first mayor, hung at the society’s new office. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Tolt Historical Society leader Isabel Jones shows off a portrait of Elmer Sorenson, Carnation’s first mayor, hung at the society’s new office.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

If you want to look up an ancestor, get a print of a historic photo or just learn about Carnation's past, the Tolt Historical Society table at the Great Carnation Fourth of July is your avenue to do it.

At the society's Fourth of July booth, you can find Centennial ornaments, which show the Town's rock entry marker, engraved circa 1930, as well as its Centennial Cookbook, which showcases local family recipes that go back generations.

According to Society President Isabel Jones, Carnation's Fourth of July celebration has very deep roots.

A 1941 high school graduate, she recalls log-bucking contests with handsaws in her youth. Children used to chase a greased pig, and folks would attempt to climb a greased pole.

Another contest involved hiding pennies in a stack of hay.

The fun in the 1940s involved a bingo booth and a big fireworks show.

Log trucks and fire trucks rolled through town in the big parade. Carnation Farm brought a freezer full of ice cream bars, and children dived in for free ice cream all day long.

"Carnation Fourth of July was big time!" she remembers. "People came from all around. Everybody was there."

Some folks had too much fun. Jones remembers the jail in City Hall was set aside for men who had too much to drink during the festival.

You can also find the Society by appointment at their new offices at Carnation City Hall. The local historians were given a room upstairs for their use, and after some extensive clean-up and a few renovation's it's now an in-town base. The society's collection is open to the public monthly at Camp Korey.

The office has new equipment for scanning, digitizing and printing local historic images.

The society also puts out the local cemetery directory, relating where ancestors are buried in Carnation Cemetery.

The collection at Carnation Farm, now home to Camp Korey, includes historic vehicles and carriages, school memorabilia, tools, clothing and a doll collection. It's open to groups by appointment and one day per month. Upcoming open dates include August 24, September 28, October 26 and November 16.

To visit the museum office, make an appointment by calling Isabel Jones at (425) 333-4436.


Above, the Tolt Historical Society's stone marker, portrayed on the centennial ornament. You can buy historical society ornaments and cookbooks at next's week's Fourth of July celebration in downtown Carnation.

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