PORT ORCHARD — American Legion Post 30 marked a century of serving the Port Orchard community with the Dec. 7 unveiling of a small stone marker at its 615 Kendall St. headquarters.
Post Commander David Bumgardner welcomed about 20 American Legion members to a ceremony at the Port Orchard headquarters, which included remarks given by state Rep. Jesse Young of the 26th Legislative District.
The post originated with the signing of its original charter by 41 World War I veterans on Aug. 12, 1919. In its early years, Post 30 did not have a physical location, according to post historian Dennis Mannick. He said the organization rented meeting space from the Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows and Modern Woodsman for an extended time.
“During this time, a funding campaign was started to allow the post to purchase some land,” Mannick said. “A lot was purchased at 200 Prospect St., and members constructed a post hall in March 1942. This was used as a headquarters for a military unit during World War II. After the war, the post occupied this location and added a basement in 1978-79.”
The historian said the City of Port Orchard wanted to expand City Hall and made an offer in 1994 to trade one of its property sites for the location on Prospect. The offer was accepted, he said, and Post 30 began remodeling, adding a wing to create a new hall at 615 Kendall. The grand opening of the location took place in November 1995.
Bumgardner said Post 30 has 198 members, many of them from around the South Kitsap area. He said the post is involved each year in activities that benefit the community, two of the most recent being participation in the National Night Out in August and the Halloween Trunk Or Treat event, in which 900 children visited members and received treats.
“We had 55 cases of toys that we gave out at the National Night Out on the first Tuesday of August,” the post commander said.