Category Archives: Historic Sites

Teapot Dome in Zillah, WA

 

image

In the early 1920s, during the presidency of Harding, our country was subject to the Teapot Dome Scandal, which revolved around oil reserves that were leased without competitive bid. There were two oil fields involved, the Teapot Dome fields in Wyoming and the Elk Hills field in California. The leases were investigated by the Senate and criminal charges were filed. Fines were paid, jail time served and the phrase Teapot Dome became synonymous with political corruption.

Well, in 1922, in the middle of the scandal, Jack Ainsworth, constructed his Teapot Dome Gas Station as a nod to the scandal. It is considered a roadside attraction and is open for visiting on the weekend for limited hours. Originally it was situated on Highway 410 between Zillah and Granger; however in 1978 it was scheduled to be moved to make way for Highway 82. Five days before it was to be moved, a car plowed into this tiny structure. The building, which is now on the historic register, was reconstructed by hand and moved to its current location at 14691 Yakima Valley Highway.  It has its own parking lot, a public restroom building and is next to a memorial for fallen firefighters.

I got there about five minutes before it closed (I didn’t even think it might be open!) and got the tour (about 2 minutes). The volunteers were delightful. I read that there is a movement to relocate the building once again to downtown Zillah and to have it function as a visitor’s center. I was glad to have a chance to see the quirky building, though the light made it difficult to capture the image.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Dora Lee Langdon Cultural & Educational Center

imageIn an attempt to avoid the Texas heat, today I went to the Dora Lee Langdon Cultural & Educational Center is located at 308 East Pearl Street, Granbury, TX 76048 in the AP Gordon House. The art exhibit that brought me in was a solo exhibit of Gene Gregory and I enjoyed his vibrant paintings. The property was constructed as the Gordon house in 1882 and is actually smaller than it had originally been since the owners “downsized” by removing some of the back of the building in 1956.

image

image

image

image

A list of all the historic Granbury properties can be found here.

First National Bank, Granbury

image

Situated on Granbury’s Historic Square, the First National Bank (101 East Bridge Street) was constructed in 1883 and is an example of Italianate Victorian Commercial architecture.  The building was constructed for its current use and more of the history can be found here. The entirety of the Granbury Square is designated a historic district and was named the best historic square in Texas.

image

image

image

And while I was there I took a picture of the wonderful courthouse.

image

There was a famous aquarium at Salter’s Point

image

Dear daughter, her dear friend and I were looking for relieve from the heat on June 5 and we decided on a beach. Dear daughter suggested that beach where one goes on a footbridge over the railroad station. So after my online community and I figured out where that was, Salter’s Point at 91 Champion St. in Steilacoom, off we went. The footbridge is now a steep metal affair with gates on both sides of the stairs. It was constructed in 2014 after the prior wooden bridge was damaged and closed. About 60 trains a day pass along the tracks.

I was expecting to find some natural beauty, relief from the heat and perhaps a couple of small crabs. And indeed I found all that, but I also found an interesting history.

The covered picnic area built in 1939 as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Per Wikipedia the WPA “was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller but more famous project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.”

The remains of a marina and store is located at the southerly end of the park. The property was destroyed by fire in 2009. The fire commanded the attention of three fireboats and more than 50 firefighters from eight fire departments. In 1987 there was a homicide at the store (Wang’s Maritime Marina); two teens killed the store’s owner. In close proximity to the marina ruins was the Soundview Inn and Boathouse, which was a boardinghouse with family style meals. They also had boat rentals.

The site of the Deep Sea Aquarium is also located at Salter’s Point. It was constructed by Ed Bair, brother of Bair (Bair Drugstore). The aquarium featured an extensive collection of sea life including a seal that lived under the porch where it could swim depending on the tide. The aquarium was promoted all over the western states, but closed in the 1930s.

Here are some interesting articles about the location.

A first person account about the aquarium 

“The evolution of Saltar’s Point,” Steilacoom Historical Museum Quarterly, XIV (Summer, 1985) p. l, 3-6.

City of Steilacoom Park Info

Fire destroys Steilacoom Marina and Store

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Perkins House, Colfax, WA

image

The drive out to Pullman, WA from Tacoma is a long one and I especially don’t like doing it over a weekend (one day there and one day back). But it was time for dear daughter to come home and off we went. I mentioned that I wanted to stop at Colfax on the way home to see a log cabin. The website I found said “Perkins House, Colfax, built in 1886, an original log cabin.” So I figured the Perkins House was a log cabin. I imagined it would take five minutes to walk around a small cabin, snap a couple of pictures and be on our way.

But when we got there it turned out to be an amazing house and a log cabin, and it was open to the public. Dear daughter happily agreed to a tour (muttering that it was my mother’s day present) and our guide took us through the entire property, sharing the history. Really, it was fascinating, well worth the stop. The property was placed on the national historic register in 1972.

We learned that Mr. Perkins founded Colfax and the local saw mill. He, his wife and their four children lived in the log cabin (built in 1870, the oldest standing building in the county) for a while, but in 1880s moved into the lovely Victorian house. We also got to hear an early record player and listen to the honey bees that live in the wall. We especially loved the wallpaper, which was mostly reproduced based on the original. Oh, did I mention, there is an outhouse with the traditional moon on the door? Our volunteer guide was terrific, so pleasant and knowledgeable. He was also patient with our many questions.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Downtown Moscow, Idaho

MoscowEvery time I visit dear daughter at WSU, I pop across state lines to visit Downtown Moscow, home of the University of Idaho’s Vandels. It really is a charming downtown with a selection of restaurants and shops. I love the bookstore, Book People of Moscow, and Cafe Artista. This time I also tried Moscow Bagel and Deli and it was yum. The Moscow Downtown Historic District includes 60 buildings and was placed on the National Historic Register in 2005.

  • image

imageimageimageimageDowntown Moscow

Washtucna, WA

I drove to Pullman today and along the way I stopped in the town of Washtucna in Adams County. The town has a population of about 200 people. I picked Washtucna because I heard it had a good birding park known as Bassett Park after the first mayor. It was some nice little park with a small creek running through it and one of the local residents came and chatted with me for a while. And then as I was leaving the town I found their original sheriff’s office/jail which consisted of a very small wooden building with two jail cells and a front area for the sheriff. There was also the original outhouse, a two seater!  Altogether it was a pleasant little diversion on the long drive to Pullman and I’m glad I stopped.


  
  
  
  

image imageFarm Equipment

Downtown Tacoma with the TCC Photography Class

imageThe past six Tuesday evenings, I’ve been taking a photography class to become more familiar with my camera. Really it has been great and I have learned a bunch. Now I just need to practice! Anyway today was our end of the class photo shoot. We met outside of Freighthouse Square and took the “Trolley Tour” (the Tacoma Link), stopping along the way to capture some moments. We strolled through the University of Washington Tacoma, crossed the Bridge of Glass and toured the theater district.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

McMenamins’ Anderson School, Bothel

imageI was pretty excited to hear that the newest McMenamins had recently opened in Bothell. It is known as the Anderson School and is located at 18607 Bothell Way NE, Bothell. So dear husband, dear daughter and dear daughter’s friend went to explore it this weekend. The complex includes a restaurant/tavern, several small bars, a lovely heated saltwater pool, a movie theater (in the previous gym), an area for a reception, a small store, outdoor areas with fire pits and of course, the hotel which is in the original junior high school which has 72 rooms located in the original classrooms.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fort Steilacoom Museum

imageFor a year we planned to visit Historic Fort Steilacoom at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd, Lakewood, but they have limited hours (Sundays 1-4 during the summer and the first Sunday of the month from 1-4 from Labor Day to Memorial Day), and we have three different schedules, so it just took that long.

We thought it would be a small museum and perhaps it might be about Western State Hospital, but we were wrong on both accounts. The museum included several buildings and a two hour tour and was completely about the historic fort which had operated on the grounds. The tour guide was so incredibly  knowledgeable and explained the fort’s history using the detailed model and in the other buildings to illustrate to us how the soldiers lived. I found it particularly interesting that the army would send representatives back east to meet new immigrants at the docks. The men would be offered transportation to the west coast and a job with room and board. Some eventually received free land. Such an opportunity. The fort’s history can be found on their website, but it is worthwhile to visit in person and go inside the actual buildings and talk to the terrific volunteers.

Talking about the volunteers, the green tint on the two gentleman is completely the fault of the lens! I was told that the lack of smiles is because people didn’t smile for photos in those days. They thought it made them look imbecilic.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

http://www.historicfortsteilacoom.org/