Location: 518 Capitol Way Southeast
Local Register, Downtown Olympia National Historical District, Diversity: Jewish Heritage; Transportation
Harris Dry Goods Building interior, 1943, Vibert Jeffers photograph, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State Archives
As it appears today
The block between Fifth Avenue and Legion Way on Capitol Way has always been one of the most important commercial locations in Olympia. In very early years, this was the site of the Grainger Stable and stage line, operated by Charles Grainger. The building currently at this site, the Harris Dry Goods building, was built by Isaac Harris in 1896 when he relocated his store from a location just west of here. The Harris family (Isaac and his sons Mitchel and Gus) were prominent merchants, active in local politics as well as the Jewish Temple. Their home was nearby, across from Sylvester Park.
Over the years, several stores have been located here. The building was badly damaged in the 2001 earthquake, when it was owned by Skookum Bay Outfitters. Following the earthquake, the building was acquired by Sandy Desner and restored to resemble its original vernacular design.
For more information about and historic photographs of the building, as well as the Harris family, follow these links:
Olympia Downtown District National Register
Washington State Historical Society photographs (boldfaced links to scanned images, others to detailed descriptions; enter the following catalog numbers in the Collections Search box): C1957.134x.7; C2016.0.12 (Grainger Stable)
City of Olympia Downtown Walking Tour
For more information about the Harris family, see the Residents section of this website and the Harris House
Thank you to Susan Goff for information relating to the recent history of this building.
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross