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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Winlock Egg Day
The first egg was built for a celebration of the opening of the Pacific Highway Bridge over the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon. The idea of an egg came from John G. Lawrence, the manager of the newly formed egg and poultry co-op as a way to represent the growing industry centered in Winlock in the 1920’s. During that time farmers in Winlock were shipping as much as a quarter million cases of eggs to market a year.
The first egg was made of an egg shaped wood frame stretched with canvas and painted white. It was mounted onto a truck as part of a parade of floats and vehicles that traveled from the Olympia, Washington to Salem, Oregon on October 23, 1923, to celebrate the expansion of trade between Washington and Oregon through the railroad. After the parade, the egg was placed on a platform near the train depot, and has since remained a source of local pride, in one form or another.
The first egg was covered with plaster but after 20 years in the elements the egg had deteriorated and was replaced by a plastic version made a new company to the area, the Johnny Simpson’s Plastic Company. This version also lasted about 20 years when it fell from its platform and cracked. A fiberglass replacement was made that some people thought looked more like a football than an egg. Then in 1991 a new replacement egg was part of the Egg Day Parade before it was placed in the Vern Zander Memorial Park. After the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center the egg was painted as a red, white, and blue American flag.