July 1, 2010 |

A BIG CELEBRATION in 1910

Writers at the Haines Pioneer Press weren’t timid about using superlatives, but the Fourth of July celebration on 1910 may have been one for the record books.

A front-page story on holiday festivities recounts that 1,000 soldiers arrived in town aboard the transport ship Buford, along with several hundred crew. There were also hundreds of Alaska Natives here for the big holiday, according to the newspaper.

"It is estimated that fully 2,000 persons viewed the sports and did honor to the occasion," the article reads.

The day’s competitions included a baseball game, tug-of-war, launch race, greased-pole contest and foot races at 100 and 50 yards.

The winner of the four-mile launch race won the event even after spotting competitors a several-minute lead. The tug-of-war included several battles between Natives, Army personnel and civilians, with civilians winning after the Natives beat the Army.

The day was capped by a ball and orchestra concert at the Arctic Brotherhood Hall.