OUT OF THE PAST: City of Wallowa’s Fourth of July parade popular in 1912

<p>On July 4, 1912, people dressed in their best attire lined the dirt streets of Wallowa to view the parade that's become an annual festive event.</p>

WALLOWA – During the Wallowa Fourth of July Celebration last week the Wallowa History Center displayed a couple of photos that brought alive the city’s big celebration of 100 years ago.

The photos, of a parade scene on the city’s dirt main street and of folks gazing at an inflated hot air balloon, gave just a glimpse of what the day was like. An account in the Wallowa Chieftain about how the holiday was celebrated in Wallowa County gave a closer look at Wallowa’s July 4, 1912, Independence Day:

“In the lower end of the county, Wallowa was host to several thousand persons. Visitors thronged the streets from farms for miles around and from other towns. The streets were decorated with small pine trees.

“There was plenty to eat for all the visitors and in other respects the people of the city managed the celebration with excellent judgment.

“The morning train from Enterprise and Joseph on the Fourth went to Wallowa more than loaded. Nearly 100 people boarded it at Joseph and Agent Butner at Enterprise sold more than 350 tickets.

“Owing to the high wind, the balloon ascension had to be given up on the Fourth, but the ball game more than made up for this lack – so some of the visitors thought. Wallowa’s hopes of a victory over Enterprise were high and defeat was a bitter prescription. (No score was given.) On Wednesday Wallowa defeated Joseph 5 to 4.

Ex-governor Geer delivered the address; Mrs. G.M. Gaily recited the Declaration of Independence and other features of the program went smoothly.

“The Wallowa County Pioneer association was formed, with F.D. McCully of Joseph presiding and Henry Schaeffer of Wallowa vice president.”

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