Western State Hospital for the Insane, later shortened to simply Western State, opened in 1871 and soon after included a farm with animals. The farm included several barns and this one, near the entrance to the dog park in what is now Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, is one of them. The farm workers were patients of the hospital and the farm supplied much of the food for the hospital. The farm closed in 1959.
I went in the evening and there was a lovely sunset and a flock of geese.
It’s probably a tribute to our marriage, that when my husband and I drove past goats clearing the undergrowth next to old Elk’s Club/Future McMeniman’s, he just quietly did a u-turn so I could go get a really good look at them. The goats were chopping away at the vegetation on the lot next to the Old Elk’s Building, which may be part of the entire property. I took photos from above and below, though I do believe the goats were avoiding me! The goats were on loan from Rent-A-Ruminant. As somebody who just that day removed some prickly plants from her yard, the goats seem like an excellent idea! I’m excited to see how the new McMeniman‘s develops.
After a trip to the Lakewood History Museum, I went off on their driving tour beginning with the Judge Wilson House (a private residence). The map can be found here.
Per the driving tour map:
The Judge Wilson House, a Gothic Revival two-story structure, was built ca. 1885, the same year the Western Steel Company built a plant in the vicinity hoping to make the area, known as Lakeview, the new Pittsburgh of the west. Judge Wilson was the superintendent of the short-lived company which closed by 1893.
There was no power at my house on Saturday morning. Something to do with the lines being down and it impacting our immediate neighborhood. The house became surprisingly cold pretty darn fast and I couldn’t make my morning tea, so I grabbed my stuff and went off to Starbucks to warm up and wake up. While waiting for my Americano I perused the bulletin board and noticed an informational flyer for Summit Public Schools that will be opening a ninth grade high school in the fall of 2015 with about 120 students. The school, called Olympus High School, will be adding on a grade each year until it has the more traditional 9th – 12th grade high school configuration. This developing charter school will serve Tacoma’s South End, Eastside and Hilltop communities and provide “a personalized learning experience to each and every student, giving all students the opportunity to achieve their academic goals regardless of their previous preparation and background” (from their website).
So with the news that it was going to take 45 minutes for my hot water heater to be hot again, I jumped in my car and drove off to see this new school at 409 Puyallup Avenue in the Dome District. Oh! I recognize the building across from Alfred’s Cafe and Bull’s Eye Indoor Shooting Range. The building, which is obviously being renovated, was constructed in 1929 for Nalley’s Fine Foods. They sold it in 1953 and since then it has been a Salvation Army Social Center and I seem to remember some kind of sporting goods being sold out of it. It is great to see such a lovely old building being updated.
When I got out of my car to take a photo a man walked up to me and said he’d “been waiting his whole ****ing life”. Ummmm. Thanks? But no worries, he wasn’t talking to me, but only to his invisible friend. I let him get further down the road before I ventured out. I have to say the neighborhood had a host of interesting characters (that’s me being nice). I will be fascinated to see how the school developments.
The Old Settler’s Cemetery is located at the Northeast corner of Washington Boulevard SW and 83rd Avenue SW in Lakewood. The almost 5 acres site is partially tree covered with paths leading through the graves. A variety of headstones are there including those flush with the ground, old marble, new marble and wooden. It appears that several of the grave sites are no longer marked. Burials began at the site in 1855 for pioneers and their descendents.
The first headstone I came to belong to Hugh McLeod who died on July 3, 1891 at age 60. His stone stated that he was a native of Scotland. The most recent burial that I’m aware of was in 1988.
I noticed a bunch of crocuses in bloom all over the site. The explanation for this can be found here “Another settler of note is James Holt, who came from South Wales and settled in what is now Lake City in 1915. He built many of the houses in Lake City as well as donated the land used for the Lake City Community Church. His daughter Janette is credited for planting the crocus bulbs on his grave that still bloom each year.” Information can also be found here
The Carlson Cabin in Yelm at 301 West Yelm Avenue was constructed in 1945, so I’d consider it old but perhaps not historic. It was constructed by Yelm’s Lions Club and Axel Carlson (co-owner of the Sundown Logging Co.) made all of arrangements. The logs were hand hewed. The space is used for Lion’s Meetings, Scout Meetings, weddings, parties and other social events. The Yelm Lions Club, which was chartered in 1939, offers a free dinner every Thursday to anyone who is hungry.
I went to Yelm for a holiday gather and had a lovely time both there and on the drive to and fro. Yelm has a population of about 7,000 and per Wikipedia, “the word “Yelm” is said to come from the Coast Salish word shelm or chelm, meaning “heat waves from the sun” referring to heat mirages.”
The building has a varied history. It was built in 1893 as Tacoma’s City Hall (E.A. Hatherton, Architect) and the original jail cells are still located in the building’s basement. In 1959, City of Tacoma offices moved and the building was vacant until 1969. In the 1970s the building was renovated into shops and restaurants and in 1974 it was placed on the historic register. In the 1980s it was converted into professional offices. I even worked there for a couple of years and enjoyed a water view! In 2005 there was talk of converting the property into condominiums. Thanksgiving week 2010 there was a flood brought on by a broken sprinkler pipe. The property is vacant.
I had stumbled upon the Belmarlow a few years back when I went to an estate sale at the neighboring property. Today I rediscovered it and hopped out of my car to snap a photo. Two large dogs greeted me and they didn’t look too happy. So, I hopped back into my car! But then their owner called them off and gave me permission to walk around.
I couldn’t find much about the Belmarlow Addition, so I wrote to the wonderful professionals in Northwest Room at Tacoma Public Library. They said “According to the book, “Of Lions and Dreams, of Men and Realities” by Richard D. Osness published in 1976, the Belmarlow Addition was on 19th Street West, in an area of what is now University Place, and Belmarlow Beach was near the old day island bridge. Osness says a Francis M. Stephens built a store here in 1909, thus having the first grocery, general merchandise, hardware store in University Place area…although he says he had a tent store here even earlier during the summer months. The Belmarlow addition ran from 18th to 21st streets and from the water to Crystal Springs Road.”
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.
The Pochert Building is located at 1112 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard was constructed in 1908. Over the years it has been a hotel, several shoe stores, a Vaudette Theater, Fuller Company Paint, a hardware store, carpet stores, a thrift store, a beauty store and dollar stores. It is now owned by the City of Tacoma and is either vacant or used for storage.