KIRO listener shares rare photos of Fort Stevens

Jun 21, 2017, 2:15 PM

KIRO Radio listener Gayle Denman of Lacey heard today’s Seattle’s Morning News story  about the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Fort Stevens near the mouth of the Columbia River.

Denman reached out right away and offered to share several rare photos of the fort from around the time when the 10″ guns were installed, circa 1904.

Where did the rare images come from?

“The negatives for these were in my mother’s collection of photos and negatives,” Denman wrote in an email.

Denman’s mother was Jessie Wilt. Wilt passed away in 1999, and had a long and fascinating career as a journalist and photographer in southwest Washington.

“I have no idea where she got the negatives, but she was a writer who specialized in the history of Oregon and Washington [and] logging and coastal history. She wrote many articles for Loggers World, the Longview Daily News, the Lane County newspaper and others. She was Weyerhaeuser’s company photographer, and editor of their “Southwesterner” newspaper out of Longview during Mt. St. Helens,” Denman wrote.

In keeping with the theme of Wednesday’s anniversary, Denman added, “My parents were fire lookouts during WWII, watching for the Japanese fire balloons along the Oregon coast.”

“I am pleased to share these as I believe history is so important . . and fun!” Denman wrote.

We couldn’t agree more!

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KIRO listener shares rare photos of Fort Stevens