Category Archives: National Historic Register

Teapot Dome in Zillah, WA

 

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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.

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First National Bank, Granbury

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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.

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

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Perkins House, Colfax, WA

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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.

 

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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.

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The Peace Arch connecting the ties between the US and Canada

imageThe Peace Arch spans the United States and Canadian border and commentates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The arch was dedicated in 1921 and was placed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Both countries flags fly on the monument. The Peace Arch and the associated area are considered to be an international park and one does not need to have a passport to visit it. The Peace Arch border crossing never closes.  It was a pretty quick passage for us, only about 45 minutes.

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Three Meter House ( Schmidt House)

12398795915_f3d03a564c_cThe Schmidt House, also known as the Three Meter House, was built 1904 for Leopold and Johanna, the owners of the Olympia Brewing Company which operated in close proximity to property. The Olympia Brewing Company operated between 1896 and 1983, when it was acquired by a different company. The Schmidt House, at 330 Schmidt Place SW, Tumwater, is on the national and city of Tumwater historic register. It is operated by the Olympia-Tumwater Foundation.

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Grays Harbor Lighthouse, the tallest in Washington

9567640608_dc4d7cb376_oThe 107′ Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport is the tallest lighthouse in Washington State and the third tallest on the West Coast. It was built in 1898 by architect Carl W. Leick to provide a guiding beacon for ships entering Grays Harbor. I said to my dear husband that I was surprised to see that the lighthouse was so far away from the Pacific Ocean. In reading the history I discovered that the lighthouse was originally 400′ from the high tide line, but because of build up caused mostly by the jetty system now in place at the entrance of Grays Harbor, the lighthouse is now 3,000′ from the high tide line. In 1998 the property was leased and then renovated by the Westport-South Beach Historical Society and in 2001 public tours began. In 2004 the Historic Society became the owners of their lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The property is on the National Historic Register.

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Tacoma’s School of the Arts

9466911043_151f2c24a6_c(1)So it seemed appropriate on my dear daughter’s last full day with us for a while to go visit her old school to pick up her most excellent high school transcripts. School of the Arts (SOTA) has both administrative space and classrooms in the old Post Office.

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Murray Morgan Room in the Northwest Room at Tacoma Public Library

8897981558_9d11e1498a_hI was lucky enough to have a brief tour of the Murray Morgan Room, which is situated in the Northwest Room of the Tacoma Public Library. The Northwest Room is in Tacoma’s originally Carnegie Library.  I was lucky enough to meet Murray Morgan years ago when he spoke at this very same library. His obituary can be found here. The room is welcoming and houses Mr. Morgan’s personal book collection about the Northwest.

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Wyland Mural on the Bowes Building

Tacoma has one of the 100 Wyland Whaling Wall murals “Washington Orcas” around the world and its on the Bowes Building at 100 South 9th Street in Downtown Tacoma. Currently the main level of the building is occupied by Big Whiskey Saloon, but the building has a long history. The architect was Edward Heath and the building was  constructed in 1908 in white Vermont marble. The property was added to the National Historic Register and the Tacoma Register in 1979. Edward J. Bowes, the original owner, eventually gained a national reputation as an entertainment figure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bowes

Over the years, the occupants have included: Pacific Bldg. & Loan Assoc., M. Schmidt & Son Merchant Tailors, Tacoma Savings & Loan Assoc., All About Travel, Pacific Rim Restaurant, Zeppo Italian Restaurant, and Seven Cities Restaurant.

Wylan started painting his large murals in the 1980s. This was his 21st mural and I remember taking my lunch break from my downtown job at the time to watch him paint. I was fascinated. There were four Whaling Walls in Washington State, but sadly now only the Tacoma one remains.

http://www.wyland.com/