The first people to settle the city of Union Gap came by wagon train traveling to Puget Sound in 1865. Led by Dr L. H Goodwin they left the trail along the Columbia River and followed the Yakima River north. The settlers stopped at the gap between the hills, Union Gap, deciding not to continue because Goodwin’s wife was ill. Others in Goodwin's party, besides his wife and children, were his nephew Thomas, Walter Lindsey family, John Rozelle family, and William Harrington, Rozelle's son-in-law. Goodwin's wife Priscilla died on December 18, 1865, and was buried on a nearby cliff overlooking the Yakima River. This site near the Goodwin homestead became the Pioneer Cemetery. This year commemorates the 150th year of the Pioneer Graveyard, kicking off Old Town Days. There will be a reenactment of Priscilla Goodwin’s service on Friday June 19th at 7pm. Brandon Homer will officiate at the burial reenactment. You will see mourners in period dress in character; Abraham Lincoln will be in attendance, music by Rob Rife, bagpiper. Sharon Glenn, the great great granddaughter of Priscilla Goodwin and Yakima Valley resident will deliver the eulogy. A new interpretative sign for the pioneer Graveyard will be dedicated by the mayor of Union Gap; Roger Wentz. There will also be an informative 20 minute guided headstone walking tour, explaining the meaning of the symbols and images on the headstones. Refreshments will be served. Pioneer Graveyard Event Flyer.
Celebrating 132 Years, Union Gap was incorporated before Washington became a state. Take a step back into the past with the residents of Union Gap. The city of Union Gap was officially incorporated on November 23, 1883; 6 years later that Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889. The celebration will include a parade on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Video of 2013 Old Town Days Civil War reenactment
Watch the Civil War Reenactments featuring participants in period dress in the North and South Civil War Tents Camps. The Washington Civil War Association portrays civilians, infantry, cavalry, artillery, Army, Navy, Marines, engineers, surgeons, nurses, ministry and settlers. They will march into battle in military dress with drum and fife. Battles feature black powder guns and cannon. “Abraham Lincoln” will give his Gettysburg Address each day following the battle. Get in on the fun, dress in period costume and attend the Civil War Era dance on Saturday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Take a Wagon Tour back in time through the Agricultural Museum. There will be live entertainment, food venders or bring a picnic! The kids will enjoy kiddie train rides, a working blacksmith shop and old time games. Cabela's will sponsor a shooting education range with bb guns, teaching gun handling safety. There is free parking and free admission. Schedule and more info.