Monthly Archives: August 2012

Old Wonderbread and Hostess Property

I’ve been wanting to snap a photo of the old Wonderbread Building at the corner of Sprague Avenue and South 7th (703 South Sprague) for ages The property began life as the Matthaei Bread Company in 1913 at a cost of $30,000. The formal opening was in April 1913 and it was known as the plant of 150 windows.

The parent company, Interstate Bakeries Corp, went bankrupt in 2004 and this outlet closed. As of 2007 the property was up for sale, but it has been sitting vacant for ages now. An article in the Weekly Volcano mentions a proposed demolition of the building with a new retail/office facility, but it has been a couple of years and I see no evidence of new development.

A picture of the building from the 1920s can be found here

Lake Steilacoom

The lovely Lake Steilacoom contains and area of 53 acres and is entirely within the city limits of Lakewood, WA. It is a man made lake that was created at the site of a small pond in 1853. Per Wikipedia “The Nisqually Indians say this lake was possessed by an evil female monster known as Whe-atchee. Legends of the creature attacking people go back over a century.To this day, Nisqually refuse to fish or swim here.”


Grassi’s Flowers & Gifts at 1702 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, is in  cool, triangular building that was built in 1892 as the Wynkoop Drug Co. / Pagni & Lenti Grocery. The property has also been the Little Country Grocery Store. It was renovated to its beautiful condition by Alice Mack, but ended up being owned by a bank through foreclosure. Eventually it was purchased by the University of Washington and leased to Grassi’s.

Former Gruv Nightclub has an interesting mural

The space at 3829 Sixth Avenue, which had previously been occupied by Gruv and before that Hell’s Kitche, is available for lease ($13/square foot) or sale ($660,000). Dear daughter has told me several times that I need to write it up as a new place because chances are that once it is leased or sold, the mural will be painted over. I like the mural which features a unicorn with 253 on its neck, the Tacoma Dome, a city skyline and a rainbow. The unicorn looks a little grumpy, but maybe that’s just macho.

The building was constructed in 1926 and has been Marshall & Kirkman Needle Work, Fowell’s Market, Snack-n-Tap, Purky’s Tavern, Spot Lite Tavern, Tuddi’s Restaurant (where it had a fatal fire because of a safecracker’s torch), Proctor Inn Restaurant, Kay’s Mexican-American Restaurant, Prosito Italian Restaurant. the Central Tavern, the
Sixth & Proctor Bar & Grill, Hell’s Kitchen Nightclub and Gruv.

Sisters On The Fly at Cabela’s


A group of women with vintage campers that go fly fishing and camping together? How cool is that?! Of course I had to go check it out when they convened at Cabela’s at 1600 Gateway Blvd NE Lacey, WA 98516. The mission statement of Sisters on the Fly is “Offering empowerment and sisterhood through exceptional outdoor adventures. As a group of women we challenge ourselves in all that we set our mind to. There is no age, color, religion or political group. All women who want to share in the adventure of “sisterhood” are welcome. This “sisterhood” has grown to more than 2,400 women since inception in 1999.”

As you can see from the photos the vintage trailers are darling and lovingly decorated. Bare in mind that these are little spaces which usually have a bed, table, stove, fridge and some storage. Because of the size, they are difficult to capture in a photo, but the website has more photos and there are a couple of books available. The women are really nice also!

Cabela’s is the world’s foremost outfitter (that’s their tag line!) and it is indeed a huge store with a large display of animals arrange in a nature setting. There is also a piper cub plane hanging from the ceiling. Besides an abundance of merchandise, there is a gun library and a restaurant. It reminds me of REI, but with more of an emphasis on hunting/fishing. There are 39 Cabela’s with more being planned.

MV Lotus

The MV Lotus was moor along the public dock during Maritime Fest this weekend in Tacoma. The vessel, which is on the historic register, was built in 1909 as Edwardian Houseboat Cruiser. It is available for event and would be perfect for a wedding! More information can be found here:

Below is another photo I took while at the fest.   What a beautiful day it was!

Update 6.18.17 We again went to the Tall Ships event (to see the Big Rubber Duck) and here are a couple of new photos of the MV Lotus.


Legislative Building in Olympia and Year Two

It’s been two years since I’ve started this new place of the day project and as last year I wanted to pick an extra nice new place.  Last year I picked the Pagoda in the Chinese Reconciliation Park and this time we went to the Legislative Building in Olympia, the state capital.

A very cool link that explains the 1928 building can be found here and here Per the website the building is the tallest masonry dome in North America. The granite for the building came from Index, Washington and the sandstone came from Wilkeson, Washington.

Looking back at the second year of this project, I have some new observations:

  • I’ve traveled further this year. 154 of my new places are in Tacoma, compared to last year when 257 of my new places were. Lakewood, with 16 places came in a distant second and University Place with 11 and Puyallup with 9 were after that.
  • This year I’ve added some great faraway places: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as Texas and California.
  • My most popular type tags are Tacoma, WA, Lakewood, Art, Coffee and Restaurant.
  • I sometimes get spam contents. Almost all of it revolves around my one Eddie Bauer post. I don’t know why.
  • Some of the places I checked out alone, but I often brought my husband, daughter and occasionally dogs along for company. They are good sports about the whole thing. Especially the dogs.
  • I did miss a couple of days. There were a few days that I was sick and the weather was bad and a couple of days that things just got away from me. It’s OK.
  • 30 places were tagged “their future is in question” last year and now that number is up to 57. Most of those that were vacant are still vacant, though a couple of leased to new businesses. The Red Dragon, the Elks Building and the Heidelberg Brewery are demolished, as is the Ruston Tunnel. The Kalakala is still afloat after getting some help. Camp 8 Logging Camp is gone and the old Borders Books space is now Ashley Furniture.  Some, including most of the schools, maintained their use.
  • I went to some unusual places including a mushroom farm, a food truck festival, two lighthouses, on a hunt for the Lock Ness Monster, the Roman Baths, a blueberry park, the church where I was married, the Museum of Flight, a submarine,  rocket ship and yoda statue in San Francisco and a robotics competition in Seattle. We went to see indoor skydiving, Tacoma’s Buffalo Soldiers Museum,  Santa diving in the shark tank and a temporary skating rink. We went to markets: Small, medium, large, Co Ops  German, Russian, Japanese, produce and seafood.
  • I plan to continue until it isn’t fun anymore or I run out of places, whichever comes first 😀

The encouragement that I’ve received along the way has meant the world to me! Thank you.

State Capital

Seattle Statue of Liberty

Today was dear husband and my wedding anniversary and we decided to celebrate by taking a Segway Tour through West Seattle. It was our first time on Segways and we simply loved it! The tour guide, Tina at West Coast Segway Tours, was great (encouraging, fun, smart) and the weather was lovely. And how lovely West Seattle is! We went down a big hill to Alki Point and glided along the waterfront.

After the hour and a half tour we went out to Spud’s for dinner and then walked along the waterfront to view Seattle’s Statue of Liberty. The statue was erected by the Sea Scouts and the Boy Scoutsin 1952. It is one of 200 1/18th size replicas of the Statue of Liberty put into place in 39 states and 4 US territories. In 2006 the statue was recast by The Bronze Works in Tacoma.

A 1967 Amphicar at Sharp & Sons USA of Yesterday Motors

This car on display at USA of Yesterday Motors at 455 St. Helens, Tacoma, is one of 500 remaining Amphicars left in existence. The informational sign said that these amphibious cars are capable of crossing between England and France!

The USA of Yesterday building was constructed in 1948 and contains 61,000 square feet of space. It was originally known as the Mueller-Harkins Motor Co. Building and Silas E. Nelsen was the architect. It was a Buick Dealership. It is now U.S.A. of Yesterday Motor Car Co. (see the link below) and besides showroom space has a large banquet room in the style of the 1950s. In 2007 there was talk of demolishing the property to make way for a downtown grocery store, but that didn’t happen.

A picture of the building from 1950 can be found at Tacoma Public Library

1912 Buick in the showroom.

Sally Beauty Supply

Sall Beauty Supply by Gexydaf
Sall Beauty Supply, a photo by Gexydaf on Flickr.

Sally Beauty Supply, located at 3842 University Place in Green Firs Shopping in University Place, has a great deal of beauty product. The company was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Denton Texas (where I once went to college). There are over 4,000 stores.