Western Washington State Fair, Hobby Hall

I love the exhibits at the Hobby Hall at the Western Washington State Fair! The people that create the exhibits are my people — interesting, smart, quirky, and a bit obsessive. The Hobby Hall is one of the fair places we always go along with the scone stand, the hot tub display (where we dip our hands), and the building with the photos and quilts and such (good bathroom on the second floor!). The exhibit building was constructed in 1939.

While we were there we talked to the ham radio folks and the astronomy guy and we saw wonderful collections (Titanic, holiday ornaments, sheep, smiley faces, Sailor Moon, Starbucks, Coke, Whiskey, hand puppets, nutcrackers, kimonos, dollhouses and many more).

 

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. http://www.weeklyvolcano.com/entertainment/spew-blog/2010/05/tacoma-wonder-bread-building-demolition/

A picture of the building from the 1920s can be found here http://search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/buildings/bldg1image.asp?j=1&o=2&n=25402&i=6392#text

Union Station, Seattle

I’ve been past Union Station at 401 South Jackson Street, Seattle, many a time, but today I actually went inside. It was lovely and reminded me of large stations in Philadelphia and New York City. Constructed in 1911 as a train station, it looks much the same today. The property ceased being a train station in 1971, was placed on the Historic Register in 1974 and was renovated in the late 1990s. The hall can be rented out for events.

One of the workers saw me snapping some photos and said that she loved working in such a beautiful building. Of course to off set that nice moment, some guy asked me for $0.50 to make a phone call!

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

On our way home from Long Beach, we visited the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge at 3888 State Route 101, Ilwaco, WA 98624It was really a treat! There is a small display room in the ranger’s work area and of course a delightful ranger. There is a short, level boardwalk area with plenty of interesting art. The boardwalk goes next to a pond, which was full of newts! For the more ambitious walkers, there is a trail that is relatively steep and has nature facts along the way. It is a lovely and challenging walk and at the end is a meditative labyrinth. 

Their website is here http://www.fws.gov/willapa/

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

We continued exploring the Long Beach Peninsula with a visit to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. To be fair, the ranger guy did say that it was a 1.2 mile hike each way and the terrain was steep in places and slippery with rain. Both of those facts proved to be true and it didn’t help that just as we reached the lighthouse, it began to rain in earnest.

This lighthouse was the first to be built in the Pacific Northwest. The ship that carried the original pieces of the lighthouse sank in view of where the lighthouse was eventually built in 1856!  The first time they built it the tower was too small to hold the lantern, so they disassembled it and rebuilt it. That process took two years.

There is a Coast Guard observation station in use next to the lighthouse and it was staffed with two men that got there in their truck by using the special Coast Guard road.

Despite the dampness, it really was a lovely hike with amazing views along the way. I believe that on the weekends in the summer it is possible to go into the lighthouse. The photo below is taken of the lighthouse from Waikiki Beach, which is another lovely spot in Cape Disappointment State Park. The last photo shows a view from the top of the trail by the lighthouse.

http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=115

http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=cape%20disappointment

 

The Site of the Japanese Schoolhouse

1715 Tacoma Avenue South is the site of Tacoma’s Japanese Schoolhouse, which was demolished in 2004. To be fair, I think this is  a photo of the site, though it might be the site next door.

I’ve heard it called the Japanese Schoolhouse, but it is also known as the Japanese Language School,  Nihon Go Gakko  and Tacoma Yochiyen. It was constructed in 1922 and placed on the national historic register in 1984 and the Tacoma historic register in 1985. The building was used for cultural activities and education of Tacoma’s Japanese population until 1942 when it was closed. It was then used as a registration and processing center for local Japanese citizens when they were relocated to “camps” for the duration of World War II.

The National Archieves has this to say about the Japanese relocation (http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/japanese-relocation/)

The attack on Pearl Harbor also launched a rash of fear about national security, especially on the West Coast. In February 1942, just two months after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt as commander-in-chief, issued Executive Order 9066, which had the effect of relocating all persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and aliens, inland, outside of the Pacific military zone. The objectives of the order were to prevent espionage and to protect persons of Japanese descent from harm at the hands of Americans who had strong anti-Japanese attitudes.

In Washington and Oregon, the eastern boundary of the military zone was an imaginary line along the rim of the Cascade Mountains; this line continued down the spine of California from north to south. From that line to the Pacific coast, the military restricted zones in those three states were defined.

Roosevelt’s order affected 117,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born citizens of the United States. The Issei were the first generation of Japanese in this country; the Nisei were the second generation, numbering 70,000 American citizens at the time of internment. Within weeks, all persons of Japanese ancestry–whether citizens or enemy aliens, young or old, rich or poor–were ordered to assembly centers near their homes. Soon they were sent to permanent relocation centers outside the restricted military zones.

I was able to go through the schoolhouse before it was demolished and it was a fascinating bit of history. Some of the original desks were still there! When I went through the space was being used by a neon glass artist. Normally buildings on the historic register are saved from demolition, but this wooden structure was too far gone to be saved. The property is now owned by the University of Washington.

Pictures of the building can be found at the Tacoma Public Library http://search.tpl.lib.wa.us/buildings/bldgdetails.asp?id=BU-2563&vhash=T&i=1

 

 

 

Washington State Surplus

Washington State sells equipment that it no longer needs at their General Administration Surplus location at 7511 New Market Street, Tumwater, WA 98512.  My dear husband thinks it is great fun to go there and buy stuff for pennies on the dollar (if we need it or not). Today we bought a couple of VGA cords for me and some speakers for him. In the past he’s come home with a nice, rolling desk chair for $15 that we’ve used a great deal. Mostly they stock office furniture and equipment, but they usually have a nice selection of knives taken from people flying in commercial planes. Last time I was there, they were selling large crab traps!

http://www.ga.wa.gov/surplus/index.html

Halloween is for decorating!

The house at 202 Ramsdale in Fircrest is considered one of the best decorated Halloween Houses according to the Tacoma News Tribune.  So, on our way elsewhere, we stopped and snapped a quick photo. It wasn’t until later, at home, that I realized the pumpkin head figure that is the focal point of the display is actually one of those carved bears that Fircrest is known for!  That’s kind of cool. I throw a pumpkin frame around the whole thing because I didn’t think that overkill was a concern :D And while I was at it, I added a skeleton with a candy corn frame!

Adam Plenning Residence

The Adam Plenning Residence at 1524 S. Cushman St.,Tacoma, WA 1905 is a two story wood frame cottage with gable roof and cross gable that added to Tacoma Register by Resolution No.33231 on 12/5/1995.

The house is described as a “wall dormer which rests on a side first story three sided bay. There is a half round window with keystone in the front end gable end. Gables have returned eaves and dentils. Windows are one over one double hung. The three sided front bay has hip roof. The over the door porch has a gable roof with small column supports and balustrade. The house is covered with clapboard siding.”

To see how the building looked when it was constructed, go here http://search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/buildings/bldg1image.asp?j=1&o=3&n=13098&i=9771#text

Scone Fairs, a Little Bit of Heaven!

Fisher Scones has been family owned for 100 years and has occupied the same corner in the Restaurant Building at the Western Washington State Fair (the Puyallup Fair) since 1915.  This articles does a bang up job explaining their history!

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2016095246_scones06.html