Archive for the 'historical building' Category


The Dalles, Oregon

The Dalles, near the end of the Oregon Trail, is an old town by western standards and full of historical buildings.

These two: the old City Hall (Clock Tower Building) and St. Peters Catholic Church are vintage 1890’s.


Gasworks Park, Seattle

Back in the late 1970’s Seattle cleaned up an oil refinery right in the center of town on the shores. of Lake Union. A major environmental disaster.  Then they made it into a post industrial park.  For several years the sewage sludge  they used as fill to counteract the oil soaked toxic soil produced bumper crops of both tomatoes and marijuana… two seeds which survive the waste water treatment process.


St. Pauls Cathedral, Yakima, WA

St. Paul’s Cathedral, located in Yakima, Washington, United States, is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima. Architectural style: Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. 

 On February 8, 1926, excavation for parish church began on the corner of south 12th Avenue and north Chestnut Street. Designed in the Spanish mission style, the layout plan for the church was in the form of a cross with a 125-foot-tower topped by a glazed tile dome and bronze cross. The red tile roof fell in line with the mission-styled architecture and the altar would be under an apse, a dome, with two side altars called transepts.
    On Easter Sunday, April 18, 1927, Fr Armstrong said a Solemn Mass in St Paul’s permanent home.  It would be more that twenty-five years before the curch would be fully completed.
    On July 18, 1951, Pope Pius XII created the new diocese of Yakima, and named St Paul as the Cathedral Church. The parish was previously part of the Diocese of Seattle. On October 11, 1951, Bishop Joseph Patrick Dougherty was named first bishop of Yakima.
    During the April of 1954, the seating capacity of the cathedral was increased from 600 to 800. Four windows, were removed for new confessionals. A terazzo floor was laid  and new oak pews were installed.

Yakima, WA historic district

The old train station, moving and storage, opera house… locked in time.


The Red Horse Diner…

Red Horse Diner
Address: 1518 W University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone:(509) 925-1956
Built in 1936 as a residence, gas station and diner.

Maryhill, Washington

Maryhill is an interesting place. On the Columbia river where highway 97 crosses. There is a great museum documenting the region’s past. A replica stonehenge was built after world war one to honor the deceased from the area.  And, the vista of the river and small town are awesome. The population of the town is listed as 98… just right for that out of the city feeling.

Detail of Maryhill Museum

Detail of Maryhill Museum


Oysterville, WA circa 1859

A very cute, compact, little town on the Long Beach Peninsula in SW Washington state. Founded a long time ago ( by western state standards) the post office has been open since  1858, forty years + before Washington statehood.

For generations before the pioneer settlers arrived, Chinook Indians gathered oysters in this part of Willapa Bay and camped in the area that is now Oysterville. They called it “tsako-te-hahsh-eetl” which, like many Indian words, had two meanings: “place of the red-topped grass” and “home of the yellowhammer.” (Yellowhammer is the local name for the red-shafted flicker, a woodpecker common to this region.)

The first white settlers here were Robert Hamilton Espy and Isaac Alonzo Clark. They had agreed on a rendezvous with Chief Nahcati who had told Espy of nearby tide lands covered with oysters. On April 20, 1854, as they paddled north from the head of the bay, they became engulfed by a heavy fog. Nahcati, having spotted them before the fog rolled in, guided them ashore by rhythmically pounding on a hollow log. The Indian Chief had not exaggerated; reef upon reef of tiny native oysters grew on the shallow bay bottom. Espy and Clark marketed the bivalves in gold-rich, oyster-hungry San Francisco. A peach basket filled with oysters brought a dollar in gold on delivery to a schooner anchored on the tide flats in front of town. That same basket brought $10 on arrival in San Francisco, and epicures in oyster bars and seafood restaurants there would pay a silver dollar for one oyster – an oyster smaller than the dollar!

In no time, Oysterville became a rowdy, lusty boomtown. By 1855 its population and importance were such that it became the seat of Pacific County, Washington Territory. The town had many firsts – a school, college, newspaper, and finally, in 1872, a church – First Methodist. It is said that there were those in Oysterville who lived in “sin” and those who lived to be “saved” – about an even division. When the church was dedicated, the hard drinkers abandoned the saloons, marched in a body to the church, put their gold pieces in the collection plate, and returned to what they considered more stimulating than praying – drinking.
Late in the 1880s fate took a hand: the long awaited railroad line ended at Nahcotta, an isolating four miles away; the native oysters became scarce and, without the possibility of a local livelihood, residents moved out en masse; finally, in 1893, the courthouse records were stolen by South Bend “raiders.” Oysterville gradually became a sleepy little village where “time stood still.”

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April 2020