PENDLETON – Deb Tozer said that during her childhood in Pendleton she always looked for ways to get out of town.
Recently, as a wife and mom, she saw the past weekend – especially with the celebration of Pendleton’s bicentennial – an important time to come home.
“You just start to appreciate the idea of the roots of a small town like this… the sense of family and friends,” said Tozer, who made the trip from Parker, Colorado, with her husband, Tony. Keever, and her three children, Sam., 17; Luc, 15 years old; and Logan, 11.
“I want other people to feel this, that’s why I drug my family.”
Pendleton’s appreciation was on full display last week, at several events, but especially during the bicentennial celebration on Sunday afternoon in Falls Park.
The story continues under the photos.
The opportunity has been delayed for a year due to COVID-19, but that hasn’t seemed to diminish its importance to the dozens of people who have come together to look back on two centuries of history, and let’s wait with it. impatiently with a nod of appreciation the leaders of the recently completed Bicentennial Legacy Projects.
Boy Scout Troop 232 held a flag ceremony, and City Council Chairman Chet Babb welcomed people to an event that was “in the works for a year, twice.”
After Pendleton Police Chief Marc Farrer praised former PPD and town leaders, and his fiancee Sammi Thatcher sang the national anthem, Kevin Kenyon, president of Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement, presented a chronology of the history of Pendleton. This ranged from 1816 and the arrival of settlers to the Falls, to 2020 and tornado recovery efforts, with around 100 significant moments in between.
He mentioned the establishment of churches, schools, industries and civic organizations, as well as significant historical events, such as the execution of white men for killing American Indians in 1825 and the visit of abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1843.
He noted people of local renown, including Thomas Pendleton, who planted the town in 1830, and PF Phipps, who helped turn a dumping ground into what is now Falls Park, as well as those of wider fame, including television and film actor William Walker. , graduated from Pendleton High School and appeared in the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
He finished with several recent developments, including the establishment of the Pendleton Artists Society and the historic city walking tour, as well as Memorial Day Tornado and the City Response.
Stephen Jackson, Madison County Historian, gave a speech titled “Falls Park – Through My Eyes”, describing what he sees when he looks at the park.
Towards the end he said, “Who can forget Monday May 27, 2019?
“Residents and first responders have reported several funnel clouds in the southern part of the county. I can see the beautiful and historic Falls Park taking the worst damage as over 100 trees were destroyed.
“However, there is an old adage that goes, ‘This is not how you get knocked down, it’s how you get back up.’ At 6am the next day, I can see volunteers arriving to begin the cleanup – a clear example that the pioneering spirit is still alive and well at Pendleton.
Jackson introduced speaker Riley Williams, 12, who gave a brief speech about what Pendleton means to her.
“I have lived in many cities before, but it wasn’t until I got to Pendleton that I felt like I was at home. But it wasn’t the city that made me feel at home, even though the city was beautiful and cozy, it was all of you.
She said it seems the townspeople care about each other, and she cited examples, such as smiles at the farmer’s market, teachers assigning students to look after new students at the school, and efforts to beautify the city and plan events.
“All of these actions make Pendleton what it really is, unique and a place you can call home.”
The ceremony then moved to honor the people and organizations involved in the city’s seven bicentennial legacy projects.
“These projects are truly tomorrow’s gifts, projects… that will be appreciated for years and years by our community,” said Jeanette Isbell, member of the bicentennial committee.
The projects are (with the representative who spoke at the ceremony in brackets and pictured above): Community Building Vestibule – Pendleton Lions Club (Dick Creger, pictured upper middle, at the front and center); 2020 Library Remodel Project – Pendleton Community Public Library (Lynn Hobbs Library Director); Pendleton Recovery Tree Project – several local and state government agencies, businesses and nonprofits (former Pendleton Planning Director Rachel Christenson); Lending Tree Library – Friends of Pendleton Community Library (Friends President, Coco Bill); Barnhart Field – Pendleton-Fall Creek Township Park and Recreation Board (Board Chair, Bryan Williams); PHHS Business Center Facilities Improvement Project 2020 – South Madison Community School Corp. (District Business Manager Ken McCarty); and the Log Cabin Project – Steve and Annie Wills, Jay Brown, Sandi Butler and Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement (the vice president of Butler Settlement, pictured with several other members of the Log Cabin committee).
Kevin Tupps, a Pendleton resident who attended the event, said he really enjoyed it.
He said he graduated from Pendleton Heights in 1985, attended college and worked in Ohio for many years before returning to Pendleton in 2001.
“I have a pretty close bond with Pendleton,” he said. “It’s just that hometown feeling.”
Tupps, who brought his son to the event, brought up a question posed to the crowd at the ceremony: Who was in attendance at the city’s 150th anniversary event in 1970? Several hands went up.
Tupps said he thought it was neat to think that one day his son might be at the city’s 250th celebration, and if they ask who was in the bicentennial, he might raise his hand.