The City of Fort Bragg is observing an important anniversary this year! August 5th will mark the date of the official incorporation as a City, which occurred on August 5, 1889. In celebration, the City and the Fort Bragg Promotion Committee have planned a series of community events, with participation from various historical and civic organizations and businesses.
C. R. Johnson, president of the Fort Bragg Redwood Company, was named the first president of the board of trustees, and the town was laid out much as it exists today – with a uniform street grid and mid-block alleys. The City was established on the sight of the historic military post, established in 1857 about a mile north of the Mendocino Indian Reservation. Native Americans of the Pomo tribe have inhabited the area for approximately 10,000 years, with their seasonal villages, located along the coast. The military post was short-lived, and records show that in 1864, after the forced relocation of the Native American population, commemorated as the Trail of Tears, the military post was formally abandoned. However, the booming logging industry ensured the continued existence of the settlement.
In historic Town Hall, the Fort Bragg Promotion Committee will sponsors a display of historic photographs and will be open from 4:00P – 8:00P on Friday night the 8th, on Saturday the 9th from 10:00A – 4:00P and on Sunday the 10th from 11:00A to 4:00P. In conjunction with this exhibit, the Paul Bunyan Days Association sponsors a historic logging display under the arbor at Town Hall.
On Saturday the 9th, from 12:00 noon – 3:00P, there will be an Community Picnic held at Bainbridge Park to be enjoyed at picnic tables or seated on your own picnic blanket in the lawn area. There will be live music, a petting zoo sponsored by Fort Bragg High School FFA. City officials will re-enact the signing of the City Charter, complete with period costumes and appropriate ceremony followed by cutting and serving a cake. Rumor has it that Paul Bunyan will make an appearance at the picnic. Bring the family and enjoy lunch, which includes a hot dog, chips, watermelon and water, and of course, some of the City’s birthday cake!
On Labor Day weekend, in conjunction with the annual Paul Bunyan Days events, there will be a dedication of the Founders’ Grove in Otis Johnson Park. The Founders’ Grove dedication will acknowledge the City’s 125th years of incorporation and will commemorate the 75th celebration of Paul Bunyan Days, which celebrate the colorful history of the logging and forest products industry on the north coast. More information on this event will be available in the Paul Bunyan Days program, available soon at http://paulbunyandays.com or at http://www.fortbragg.com.
The City and the Paul Bunyan Days Association are seeking committee members and community participants to assemble a time capsule. Contents for the capsule will be collected throughout the City’s 125th year (starting August 9, 2014) and it will be buried at the end of the celebration year, in August of 2015. Do you or your family have a place in Fort Bragg’s history? If so, the organizers welcome you contributions of photos, memories and memorabilia. Please contact City Hall at 707-961-2823 if you are interested in participating in this activity.