Location: 525 Columbia St SW
Diversity: Jewish heritage; Women’s History; Wohleb
|Olympia Junk Co. 1914, Robert Esterly, courtesy of Washington State Historical Society||Olympia Junk Co building today (2012) photograph by Matt Kennelly|
The building that stands at the northwest corner of Legion and Columbia was built in 1925 to house the Olympia Junk Company. It was designed by famed local architect Joseph Wohleb, with the signature Mission style for which he is known. The photograph at above left is of a building that stood at this location before the current building was erected. The Olympia Junk Company was founded in about 1906 by local merchant Morris Berkowitz, who is likely pictured in the older photograph. It was purchased by his brother in law Jacob Bean, a member of a prominent Jewish family. The older photograph is part of the historic series of photographs by photographer Robert Esterly taken in late 1914. The successor to Olympia Junk Co. is Olympia Supply, which still operates near this location.
Adjacent to the Olympia Junk Co. (where the parking lot to the north is currently located) was the Capital City Creamery. Founded by F.R. Klumb, the creamery was one of the first in Thurston County. Before the early 20th century, most households kept a cow, even on small city lots, to provide their dairy needs. The establishment of creameries was a result of increased urbanization, and the Creamery introduced sanitary and efficient practices, including pasteurization, as well as delivery trucks. The entire family, including F.R.’s wife Katherine and daughter Minnie, worked at the creamery. Long-time Olympia historian Winnie Olsen was the daughter of Minnie Klumb.
For more information follow these links:
Washington State Historical Society photograph collection (enter following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): 2010.149.23.1 (above photo); C1993.12.10 (pasteurization process at Capital City Creamery); C1993.12.7; C1993.12.1; 2010.149.23.2 (Esterly photograph of Capital City Creamery)