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Down East Seniors visit historic port

The Down East Seniors Club held its Feb. 20 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Charles Smith led the meeting. The singing of “God Bless America” was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Mike Gwynn gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history. Mark Eakes provided humor.

One guest was recognized.

Smith introduced Ray Midgett as the speaker. Midgett is president of the Historic Port of Washington Project, an organization that is working to preserve the history of Washington as an important maritime port and commerce center. The period covered includes the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Washington developed as a major trading port because ocean-going ships could reach it coming upstream on the Pamlico River and barges could reach it coming downstream on the Tar River. Agricultural and forest products were shipped out. Incoming goods included tropical products from the West Indies and manufactured products from the North. In the late 1800s, a large oyster cannery operated in Washington. Most of the old buildings in town were destroyed by fires during the Civil War, the great fire of 1900 and another in 1902. A few buildings from the late 1800s still stand.

Bill Cates won the 50/50 drawing.

At the Feb. 27 meeting, Cates will present Gil Alligood whose subject will be “Why be an author?”

The Down East Seniors Club is a group of older men who meet Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. They enjoy fellowship and an interesting program. Guests are welcome.