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First Miss Bremerton Dollie Hage relives the day from 1933
It was July 4, 1933 and Dollie Hage ruled the day.
Hage, then 18 years old, served as the first-ever Miss Bremerton and still smiles when thinking about her reign as queen.
Hage, now 93, lives at Canterbury Manor, a senior residential community in Bremerton, and still has photos and newspaper clippings about her time as Miss Bremerton.
Hage, formerly Brousseau, does not remember why she entered the Armed Forces Queen/Miss Bremerton pageant, but she did and was sponsored by the Bremerton Eagles.
“This is the first and only one (pageant) I’d ever been in,” Hage said.
The 1933 Miss Bremerton pageant wasn’t really a pageant at all. The six ladies vying for the title sold “votes” and the woman who sold the most won the crown. Hage sold more than 350,000 “votes” to beat out the competition in 1933.
Hage said she was at a dance at the American Legion Hall and a friend came up to her and said, “You’re the queen of Bremerton!”
It was then that she knew she won the title of Miss Bremerton.
“What excitement,” Hage said.
Miss Bremerton’s duties only lasted for one day, but Hage said it was a great day. She was crowned by the commanding officer of the U.S. frigate Constitution and went to lunch, all while wearing a beautiful dress.
“The gown was beautiful, it was gold,” she said.
One of Hage’s two daughters, Jeri Kalmbach, said when growing up she and her sister loved seeing their mother’s Miss Bremerton photos and hearing her stories about the contest.
“I really thought it was great,” Kalmbach said. “As a little girl, I would look at the pictures and think ‘how beautiful.’ I am very proud of her.”
Hage grew up on Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street in Bremerton, when Pennsylvania Avenue was just a dirt path. She graduated from Bremerton High School in 1932 and then attended Mary Stone Beauty School in Seattle. She later opened her own beauty salon in Bremerton.
Hage moved to Canterbury Manor four years ago and said she didn’t tell many people about her Miss Bremerton days.
“I didn’t say much about it,” she said.
Hage said Canterbury Manor is “the best place in the world to live” and spends her days playing bridge, pinochle and bingo. She also still gets together with a few girlfriends from high school from time to time.
“She’s a party girl,” Kalmbach said with a smile. “I call her my party girl.”
The Miss Bremerton pageant may no longer be in existence, but Hage and her family still have the photos and newspaper clippings to remember the day she served as queen of Bremerton.
“She’s the queen and she reminds me everyday,” Kalmbach joked.
“My daughter lies,” Hage laughed.