A Year of Firsts
The year 2001 marked Valdez’s centennial. On July 1, 1901, Valdez residents voted to incorporate and form an official City government.
1901 was a busy year for the budding community. It was a year of “Firsts”. Here are a few of them:
- The first wedding took place between an Army Captain stationed at Fort Liscum with his fiancee.
- The newly formed Valdez Chamber of Commerce met for the first time that year.
- The first bank opened. The owners said that they hoped to “make a rigid investigation of the country on behalf of themselves and as representatives of Eastern and English capital”.
- The first school opened in May.
- Shortly thereafter, Valdez launched its first-ever-official community clean-up day.
- The first baby boy was born in Valdez in 1901– (the first baby girl had been born in 1899 and was named Valdez Dorothy Cameron).
- The Ladies Aid Society formed.
- The first customs house was opened.
- The first museum was established.
- The first building was numbered.
- The first mayor was elected.
- The first fire department was organized.
- The first brick chimney was built.
- The first fireman’s ball was held.
- And… the first street lamp was erected.
So many firsts for a small community! By the end of 1901 Valdez was well on its way to being modern. It offered its residents basic amenities and services along with social, religious, and educational opportunities.