QUEEN ANNE — The town unveiled its new office July 20 during a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony.
The new town office was built at the site of the former Gibson’s Antique Store in the heart of town. The town has been holding its meetings at the firehouse and has stored town records at various locations over the years.
“We did it. This is a dream 28 years in the making,” Queen Anne Mayor Randy Esty said.
Gus Gibson, who operated the store for many years, died in January 2016. He was the last remaining charter member of the Queen Anne-Hillsboro Fire Company.
Gibson’s daughters later donated the property to the town.
Penny Reynolds, one of Gibson’s daughters, gave a brief history of her father’s antique store.
Esty thanked Reynolds and her sisters Toni Breeding and Cindy Rhodes for donating the property to the town.
The store building had deteriorated and was demolished.
Esty and Town Commissioners Marty Eichelman and Mark Turner decided to build the town office to resemble the antique shop to maintain the character of the town.
The town office cost about $200,000 to build and was funded without raising taxes, using money the town commissioners had set aside for that purpose over the years.
“I don’t think it was a coincidence that we happened to have an architect and a contractor, Mark and Marty, as commissioners, a perfect match to plan and build a town office,” Esty said.
Turner was thanked for his expertise, and Eichelman was presented with a certificate of appreciation for outstanding performance as the project director. Amanda “Mandy” Morgan, the town clerk/treasurer, also was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her performance in organizing the town office.
Esty recognized past town commissioners, saying “the one thing we all agreed on throughout the years was a need for a town office.” Those commissioners included John Chalupa, Phil Starkey, Mike Mattox and Francis Breeding; former Town Clerk Phyllis Skinner also was recognized.
Esty also thanked Sonny Eaton, who demolished the old building in less than a half day and donated his services; Ed Malinowski, who built and donated the white fence; Brian Ireland, who fabricated and donated the handicap rail; and Chris Morgan, Hugh Barteman and David Chaires for their help on the project.
The Rev. Dr. Bruce Cooke, pastor of the Hillsboro Queen Anne United Methodist Church, said a prayer.
Esty said the late Gus Gibson, the late Monk Morgan and Bob Barton often were seen sitting on a bench in front of the old store, just passing the time and gossiping. He then unveiled a bench that was engraved “Reserved for Gus Gibson, Bob Barton, Monk Morgan.”
Gibson’s daughters and his cousin Jack Gibson, the oldest lifetime resident of Queen Anne, then cut the ribbon.
After the ceremony, attendees were invited to enjoy some light refreshments and view historic items on display, donated by the public.