Tag Archives: Jewish Heritage

Anderson, Olof House

Location: 410 Sherman St NW
Local register; Diversity: Scandinavians

olofanderson_1953Olof Anderson House, 1953, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOlof Anderson House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This large colonial revival house was built in 1935 by Olof Anderson, the youngest of the Anderson brothers who emigrated from Sweden and founded Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM made pre-cut homes that were sold throughout Olympia and the Pacific Northwest. Many of the homes in this northwest neighborhood are TLM homes, including the homes in the Rogers Street Historic Neighborhood  are are typically in the English Revival or Tudor Revival style. This house, however, is not a TRL home. Like his brother Edward, Olof chose a different style for his own home, which would have been much too large and unique to be included in one of the pre-cut catalogue designs. The home is well maintained and on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

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Bettman Store second site

Location: 410 Capitol Way S
National Downtown Historic District, Diversity: Jewish Heritage

bettmanstoreBettman Store around 1885, Image courtesy of Washington State Historical  Societyhot toddyBettman Store site today, Photo courtesy of Matthew Kennelly

Louis Bettman came to Olympia in 1853 and, along with his brothers Mose and Sig, opened his general merchandise store soon afterwards, at the northern end of Main Street (now Capitol Way) (see Bettman Store first site). After taking over as sole proprietor, he later moved to this site, then as now the most important commercial block in Olympia. The wooden structure burned, along with the other stores in this block, in 1882, and was replaced by this brick structure. The Bettmans also built the Bettman Block on Fourth Avenue, at one time the site of their residence, as well as the Bettman-Oppenheimer House. The store bore the Bettman name until the 1970s. It was damaged during the 1949 earthquake.

Further information:

Washington State Historical Society photographs

enter the following catalog number in collection search box: C1982.18.30.12 (above picture); C1996.6.18 (earthquake)

Olympia Downtown National Historic District

For more information on Bettman family, see Where Are We? listing for Bettman Block; also Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bettman-Oppenheimer House

Location: 216 9th  Ave SE
Local Register; Diversity: Jewish heritage

No scanned vintage photograph of this house is known; if you have one you can share, or would like to sponsor the scanning of the photo linked below, please contact us at olyhistory@gmail.comBettman-Oppenheimer House

Bettman House today (2010) photograph by
Deb Ross 

The Bettman-Oppenheimer House was built by local merchant Louis Bettman as a wedding gift to his daughter Belle Bettman. The elaborate Queen Anne style was built in 1890 and located in a neighborhood just to the south of Sylvester Park. At the time this neighborhood was the home of several prominent citizens. This is one of the few remaining, and has been extensively remodeled and its exterior well preserved. It is on the local register. The mercantile  Bettman family is linked to other Where Are We? locations, including the Bettman’s first Store, the Bettman’s second store, and the Bettman Block. At one time, Louis Bettman also had a house next door to this one, which the family lived in after the Bettmans razed their home on Fourth Avenue to build the Bettman Block. This second house no longer exists; an unscanned image of it exists in the Washington  State Historical Society’s Research Center.

Additional links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photograph

enter the following catalog number in collection search box: C1964.26.4.11.1

For additional information on the Bettman family, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Capital Savings and Loan Building

Location:  222 5th Ave SE
mid-Century modern; National Register, State Heritage Register

capital savingsCapital Savings and Loan Building 1964, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation files OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACapital Savings and Loan Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Inspired by the 1963 World’s Fair in Seattle, the local firm of Sibold and Nesland built this space-age building in downtown Olympia for the Capital Savings and Loan. It originally had a water feature just inside the entryway. It has been repurposed to a nightclub for several years.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s modernism project. It was placed on the National and State Registers in 2018. 

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory (viewable via WISAARD database)

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

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Capitol Center Building (views on Fifth)

Location:  410 5th Ave NW
mid-Century modern

capitol place 1960sCapitol Center Building late 1960s, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation collectionOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Capitol Center Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Widely criticized for a time, for its obstructing views and deteriorating condition, the Capitol Center Building was at one time the feather in local architect G. Stacey Bennett’s cap. Built in the late 1960s for $2 million, it featured cutting edge modernism with its glass curtain effect, termed the Miesian style, after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The foundation of the building is over seven feet thick, making it earthquake-proof despite its footing on fill. It is the tallest building in the city, surpassing the former “skyscraper” Security Building.  The building was the home to several state agencies: each floor contains over 8,000 square feet of space. The building is undergoing extensive remodeling as an apartment complex, eliminating many of its original features, though retaining an echo of Bennett’s curtain wall. 

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s “Nifty from the Last Fifty” project.

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Capitol Lake Restrooms and Bath House

Location:  Water Street and Legion Way
mid-Century modern; Diversity: gay and lesbian history

restroomsCapitol Lake Restrooms, undated, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation collection OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACapitol Lake restrooms today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

In late 1960, a civic group was formed named the Committee for the 60s, to study and recommend possible capital improvement projects for Olympia. Among the projects approved and funded was this bath house and restroom facility on the shores of Capitol Lake. The lake was at that time less than ten years old and was a popular swimming spot. The architect, George Ekval, reportedly created this mid-Century modern design, with its striking sawtooth roof, free of charge. The bath house portion of the facility is no longer used.

The building was a focus of a police campaign against gays in the 1970s and early 1980s, culminating in the arrest, in 1980, of a state legislator, director of a social service organization, and the president of Olympia Brewing Company.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s “Nifty from the Last Fifty” project.

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

Olympia’s Gay and Lesbian History Tour

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Centennial Park/Evans Centennial Tree/Rossell O’Brien House site

Location: 201 Union Ave SE
Heritage Tree

obrien

O’Brien home in the background, 1949, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACentennial Park today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Rossell O’Brien, an Irish immigrant, fought in the Civil War, and arrived in Olympia in 1870, appointed as revenue collector under Governor Salomon. He married Fanny Steele, daughter of Alden Hatch Steele, and the couple built a home at this site kitty corner to the Steele House. In 1890, O’Brien initiated the custom of standing for the Star Spangled Banner. The custom caught on and is now practiced everywhere. The 1940 photograph of the house at this site shows it to be a large and elegant 2 1/2 story structure. According to historian Bernice Sapp, it was still still standing in 1950, along with a smaller house on the property. Helen Aetzel, O’Brien’s daughter, and then Helen’s daughter, Virginia Aetzel Schmidt, inherited the house, so that it was owned by the same family for three generations. A fourth generation child, Nick Schmidt, was born in the home, according to a memoir by “Bink” Schmidt.

Some time around statehood in 1889, a coast redwood tree was planted here. By the state’s centennial, in 1989, it was fully mature, and was dedicated the Daniel J. Evans Centennial Tree in honor of former governor Daniel J. Evans, to recognize his efforts on behalf of environmental protection. In the photograph at above right, the tree can be seen in the background. The small park here is also named Centennial park. Remnants of the O’Brien home, the other house on the property, and the wall surrounding the lot can be seen at the site.

Additional resources:

Washington State Historical Society, photograph of O’Brien/Aetzel House, enter the following catalog number in collection search box  C1964.26.4.11.4

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

Article on Daniel Evans Tree

For more information on Rossell O’Brien, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christian Science Church/Temple Beth Hatfiloh/site of Rosenthal Home

Location: 201 8th Ave SE
Religious institutions; Diversity: Jewish heritage

Christian Science church, 1961, courtesy Washington State Historical SocietyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemple Beth Hatfiloh (Christian Science building) today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

A group of Christian Science students began to meet in Olympia early in the 20th century. According to historian Bernice Sapp, they met in the Sparks home on Adams Street between Ninth and Tenth for a time; the inventory report also notes the Olympia Hotel as a temporary meeting place. In 1917, the group  was recognized as a branch of the Mother Church, and bought the Gustav Rosenthal home that was on this site. Rosenthal was an early merchant and oysterman. See McKenny Block, Turner Block, and Star Laundry Building for other sites associated with Mr. Rosenthal.

The congregation began by remodeling the Rosenthal home into a church, Sunday school, and reading room. Then, the current imposing Greek Revival Building was erected between 1925 and 1947 by the First Church of Christ Science. It served as the home of that congregation until 2004. Then, as another round-and-round-we-go example of “musical pews” in Olympia, it was sold to Temple Beth Hatfiloh, which moved here from its former location on Adams Street, a stone’s throw from the Christian Science congregation’s first meeting place, and perhaps an even more fitting new site, given Gustav Rosenthal’s Jewish heritage. (For more background on the “musical pews” phenomenon, see the listing for the nearby Gloria Dei congregation). The Christian Science congregation is now located on Evergreen Park Drive in West Olympia.

For more information on the Rosenthal family, see the Residents section of this website.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photograph from 1961, enter the following catalog number in Collections Search box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.3

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years ago

Article: Temple Beth-Hatfiloh is 75!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Church of the Brethren

Location: 2129 4th Ave E
Religious institutions

brethren1911Church of the Brethren congregation, in front of their original building at this location, in about 1911, used by permission
???????????????????????????????Church of the Brethren building today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

The Christian denomination Church of the Brethren, sometimes referred to as the Dunker Church, was founded in Germany in 1708. The Olympia congregation of Brethren was formed in about 1897, under the lay leadership of the Boone family, who arrived here from Virginia. Regular services and sermons began in 1906 under the leadership of J.S. Secrist, whose descendants still serve churches in Olympia five generations later. The congregation acquired this property a year later, first erecting a small wooden building, shown at above left. The current building at this location dates from 1913 and served the congregation until 1956, when they moved to Lacey, where the congregation is now called the Lacey Community Church. The Brethren denomination is known for community service, a simple lifestyle, and pacifism.

Thank you to Dennis Roth for additional information. For more information and photographs, you may contact Dennis at orwahist [at sign] aol.com

Additional resources:

Congregation history

Olympia Heritage inventory

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Cunningham House

Location: 311 19th St SE
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

cunningham house_1941Cunningham House, 1941, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACunninghan House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Cunningham House is an unusual and beautifully preserved example of an Art Moderne style home in the South Capitol neighborhood. G.B. Reishus was the architect for the home, which was built in 1940 for the Cunningham family. The Cunninghams owned the historic Cunningham’s store downtown. The home is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory (note the incorrect 1945 construction date: above photograph was taken in 1941 shortly after construction)

South Capitol Neighborhood National Historic District

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Dawley, L.E. House

Location: 119 22nd Ave SW
Local register; South Capitol National Historic District

ledawley_1956)L.E. Dawley House, 1956, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAL.E. Dawley House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This beautifully maintained Spanish Colonial home was built in about 1929 by Leo E. Dawley, one of the two Dawley Brothers contractors who were responsible for many of the buildings downtown and elsewhere (see, e.g., the Dawley Building Hart-Dawley House). Mrs. Dawley, nee Elgia Witiwer, was a noted musician. The home is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

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Deane Apartments

Location: 515 Adams St SE

deane_1964Deane Apartments, 1964, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Deane Apartments today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This handsome Mission-style apartment building was erected in 1935, and has changed very little since then. It is known for the palm trees that complement the tropical appearance of the building.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Looking back feature, construction worker at new building

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Farquhar Store-Legislative Building, Lobby, Armory

Location: 7th Avenue and Adams St

farquhar store Farquhar Store, Jeffers Photograph of earlier drawing of unknown date, Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990, Washington State Archives OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFarquhar site today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Alexander Farquhar immigrated from Scotland and settled in Olympia in 1858. He worked for several years for Charles Williams at the Olympia Hardware Store, then went into business for himself at a location near here. Historian Bernice Sapp states that an earlier building just east of here, on the Swantown Slough, collapsed during a storm and that the building shown at above left was built on slightly higher ground.

After Farquhar’s death, this building served several functions. It was a stopgap location for the legislature after the original Territorial Capitol Building became unfit for occupation, and before the legislature was able to move into the  Old State Capitol Building (now the Superintendent of Public Instruction building) in 1903. After that, it was known for some time as The Lobby, a sort of informal annex to the legislature, and also served as an armory and social hall.

Additional resources:

Digital Archives image above

Washington State Historical Society, Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1951.284.3

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

For more information on the Farquhar family, see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First Christian Church

Location: 701 Franklin St SE
Religious institutions; Wohleb; Local register

firstchristian1897First Christian around 1897, from Lawson, 100 Years of Christian Witness.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst Christian Church today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Disciples of Christ (also known as Christian) denomination arrived in Thurston County in the very earliest years of American settlement, when the Longmire family founded a small church in Yelm. Another Christian church was established in Olympia but failed to thrive. Several decades later, the current congregation, First Christian, was founded about 1890. Following the common practice, it met in several public buildings, including the Washington School and Columbia Hall.  This congregation met with immediate success, purchased land at the corner of Adams and Union, and built a church structure there. In 1895, in another instance of “musical pews,” that building was moved to the location of the current church, at Seventh and Franklin, where it is pictured at above left. (For more on the musical pews phenomenon in Olympia, see the Gloria Dei listing)

The current structure at this location was built in 1928. Architect Joseph Wohleb demonstrated his virtuosity and range by adopting a Gothic style, with its characteristic buttresses and arched windows. The longer one-story extension to the south was added in the 1960s. The church is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years ago

Pioneer History Churches of Christ in Thurston County

Washington State Historical Society photograph from 1961,

Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fleming House

Location: 1717 Jefferson St SE
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

fleming_1942Fleming House, 1942, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFleming House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Fleming House was built about 1941 for John Gragg, a member of the Olympia Veneer cooperative. It was bought shortly after by the Fleming family, who owned Fleming-Harvey Motors for many years. The home is a well maintained example of the Dutch Colonial style. It is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forsberg, Gust and Nanny House

Location: 1908 Washington St SE
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

forsberg_1939Gust and Nanny Forsberg House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGust and Nanny Forsberg  House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Gust and Nanny Forsberg House is a good and well-maintained example of the English Builder style, built about 1936. Forsberg was a native of Sweden and worked at Tumwater Lumber Mills, but the local Heritage Inventory does not show this as a Tumwater Lumber Mills home. It is on the local register and in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greyhound Depot/Site of Harris house

Location: 107 7th Ave SE
Transportation; Diversity: Jewish heritage; National Downtown Historic District

parade with harris houseParade for dead Spanish-American war soldiers, 1900, with Harris house in background, photo courtesy of Washington State Historical SocietyGreyhound Station

Greyhound station today (2013), photo by Deb Ross

The Isaac Harris house was built in 1880 at an important location on the corner of Main Street (Capitol Way) and Sylvester Park. It was one among several large homes and mansions built along the Main Street corridor south of the park. (The park and the Old State Capitol Building can be seen in the background of the photograph at above left.)  Isaac Harris was one of the most important merchants in Olympia, arriving here in 1870. His sons Mitchel and Gus carried on the business and built the Harris Dry Goods store a block and a half away. In addition to this mercantile business, they were investors in many important commercial ventures, as well as being prominent members of the Jewish community. Mitchel Harris was a three-time mayor of Olympia.

According to historian Bernice Sapp, the Harris House was moved to a location at 7th Avenue and Adams Street, possibly the hip-roofed apartment building currently (2014) at that location.

In about 1937, the North Coast Lines built the art moderne building that stands at this location. North Coast was one of the many subsidiaries of Puget Sound Power and Light, begun in 1922 to provide electrically-powered transportation up and down the coast, but soon branching out into motorized transportation. With the completion of Highway 99, which ran down Capitol Way and turned onto Fourth Avenue, this corner was a key surface transportation hub for the city and its surrounding areas. Today it is the home of Greyhound Bus Lines and has retained most of its original art moderne features. In the 2000s, the Art Deco Society of Olympia, in collaboration with the Olympia Downtown Association, acquired funds to repaint the building, along with its iconic motto: “See America By Bus the Modern Travel Way.” However, the building is currently in decline. It is in the National  Downtown Historic District but not individually registered.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

National Downtown Historic District

Washington State Historical Society (images in bold are scanned): 2012.0.345; C1947.7.5; C1945.141.2

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

For more information on the Harris family, see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hamley House

Location: 3008 Lorne St SE
Local register

hamley_1941Hamley House, 1941, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHamley House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Hamley House was built in 1940 for Frederick Hamley, a lawyer, public official, and judge. While most of his professional career was in Seattle and later on in San Francisco as a member of the 9th Circuit court of appeals, he lived for several years in Olympia as an attorney for the Public Service Commission and later a member of the Supreme Court, which he chaired in 1955 and 1956. While in Olympia he researched the availability of Unitarian churches in the area. Finding none, he was instrumental in founding the Olympia Unitarian Fellowship, which continues to this day as the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Community.

This home is described as a minimal traditional style, but includes “modern” features such as the corner window, glass block by the entryway, and a large chimney facing the street. The home is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Frederick Hamley papers at University of Washington

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Harris Dry Goods/Grainger Stable site

Location: 518 Capitol Way Southeast
Local Register, Downtown Olympia National Historical District, Diversity: Jewish Heritage; Transportation

Parish6-6-14038Harris Dry Goods Building interior, 1943, Vibert Jeffers photograph, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State ArchivesHarris Dry Goods (2)As it appears today
Photograph courtesy of Deb Ross 

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 Heritage inventory

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

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years Ago

For more information about the Harris family, see the Residents section of this website and the Harris House in Where Are We?

Thank you to Susan Goff for information relating to the recent history of this building.

 

 

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Kilgannon: Temple Beth Hatfiloh is 75!

Anne Kilgannon, with thanks to Beth Dubey for background information.

Louis Bettman arrived in Olympia and set up a general merchandise store in 1853. Within a year, two other establishments with Jewish proprietors opened for business in the muddy little village that would become the city of Olympia: Goldman and Rosenblatt’s People’s Emporium and M. Louisson’s shop, filled with goods from San Francisco.  They offered the townspeople and local farmers and loggers—and maybe most especially their wives—everything from dress trimmings imported from New York, to violins and groceries. It was the beginning of the end of frontier conditions. Like many of the early Jewish settlers in the west, they came as town dwellers and merchants, not as farmers or workers in the woods or mills.

They were part of a wave of German-speaking Jews leaving Europe between 1830 to 1860, seeking economic betterment and escape from the harsh conditions imposed on them by anti-Semitic regimes then dominant in central Europe. They came to the Pacific Northwest often by way of California, lured west by the gold rush. Some of the young men came alone, unmarried and without connections, who by dint of hard work established themselves and only later found wives and set up families. Others were part of far-flung family networks that supported new endeavors in pioneer towns and built upon their connections to establish businesses. Gustave and Bertha Rosenthal setting up a shipping business and dealt in wool, coal and oysters. The Kaufman brothers sold clothing and Isaac Harris stocked all manner of dry goods. Edward Salomon, who had served as a general during the Civil War, notably came to Olympia as the ninth Territorial Governor. Others followed.

This group concentrated on gaining a foothold in the fast-opening societies; they pitched in to build the towns and create the institutions that promoted economic growth and community survival. They were often more intent on assimilation than finding an outlet for religious expression. Having experienced the persecution and discrimination of the Old Countries, they tended to downplay their separate identity and focused on a more shared pioneer experience. For some, like George Jacob Wolff, feelings of gratitude for freedom dominated their emotions and cemented their attachment to their new homes. While they did establish a Jewish cemetery in 1873—one of the first in the Territory, no synagogue or temple was built in Olympia during this period.

The histories of these first Jewish pioneers have been gathered in an outstanding study, Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State, by Molly Cone, Howard Droker and Jacqueline Williams, published by the Washington State Jewish Historical Society and the University of Washington Press, 2003. The authors describe three distinct waves of immigration, the first as described, followed by Yiddish-speaking Jews from eastern Europe who came from 1880 to 1924, and a separate population of Sephardic Jews from Turkey and parts of Greece, coming just after the turn of the century. The thesis of these authors is that these waves of immigrant Jews were not only “strangers” in the communities of the west, but also strangers to each other, with completely different origins, languages, customs, and observances. Their history is one of finding their place in the wider community and learning to help each other and live together.

As with any group of people, there was generosity and misunderstandings, conflict and compassion, friendly helping hands and suspicion. Each community in the Territory and then State carved out its own path within patterns shared and repeated in different locations. Other than in Seattle where a burgeoning population allowed more expression of differences, most Jewish immigrants in Washington struggled to create communities of co-religionists of any stripe. This tension of differences and isolation was an undercurrent that influenced the development of religious institutions in the smaller centers. Family of Strangers traces this complex history through several generations and developments up to the near-present. It helps provide the historical context for understanding and appreciating the achievements of each community’s growth and survival.

The progress of the community in Olympia was marked by the welcome received family by family as more Jewish people found their way here. The Jewish Benevolent Society, founded in 1873, leant a helping hand. The next year, land was dedicated for a Jewish cemetery. The Berkowitz/Bean family came in the early years of the twentieth century. It was in their home that the Torahs were kept, to be brought to the Labor Temple or Eagles Lodge for services on High Holidays. The Cohn and Hollander families added to the community, and many others came in the Thirties: the Goldberg family who opened a furniture store to operate alongside Anna Blom’s bookstore, Eddie Dobrin’s women’s apparel store, M.M. Morris’ Specialty Shop, Joe Jenkin’s dry cleaners, and others, to name only a few business establishments.

Finally, by the late 1930s, a strong group existed who could venture taking the next important step as a community.  Centralia and Chehalis had banded together to build a temple in 1930, as had a group in Aberdeen. They shared the architectural plans they had used and supported the Olympia group in their fundraising, headed by Earl Bean. Despite the lingering Depression, the wider community pitched in too, helping with building supplies, purchasing raffle tickets and pledging contributions. Land was cleared on Eighth and Jefferson Street and the venerable Olympia construction firm of Phillips and Newell erected the temple that became the center for religious and community life until 2004. By then the congregation had grown beyond the capacity of the original building and a move was made to the present location.

Temple Beth Hatfiloh was built in time to act as a strong center of activities and refuge as many Jewish people fled Europe in the wake of growing persecution, and then during World War II as a base for families whose members were serving overseas. After the war, although served only by a visiting rabbi for a period, more normal activities and services filled the calendar. A tradition of raising funds for the Olympia-wide charities saw Temple members hosting huge annual rummage sales; in more recent years they have hosted giant book-bagel-and blintz sales. For a time religious education classes had to be offered in Tacoma, but as the Olympia group grew, more could be organized within this community.

With an influx of new families brought to Olympia by the growth of state government and the establishment of Evergreen State College in the 1960s and 1970s, the Temple was assured of a solid foundation and future. Not until the 1980s could the congregation support their own rabbi, at first part-time and then finally full-time. The program for religious education also developed as more families joined. Besides growth in numbers, the congregation has gradually shifted in approach from Orthodox to a mix of Conservative and Reform practices. Eva Goldberg, an early chronicler and leader in the congregation, saw the community as “an extended family” ready to welcome all with open arms and assistance from its earliest days. Something of that spirit still prevails and adds strength and resiliency to this vital Olympia institution.

The Olympia Historical Society congratulates the members of Temple Beth Hatfiloh on the occasion of their seventy-fifth anniversary. They are an integral and important part of the history and growth of Olympia. Their many contributions, energy, success and longevity benefits the whole City.

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Jacaranda (Genoa’s) Restaurant (demolished)

Location: 1675 Marine Drive NE
mid-Century modern

Jacaranda Restaurant near opening day, 1964, photo courtesy of Washington State Historical Society 

Anthony’s Hearthfire today (2020), courtesy Anthony’s

For the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Douglas Fir Plywood Association created a model home called the Century 21 Plywood Home of Living Light. After the fair was over, the building was purchased and floated down Puget Sound, where it was remodeled and opened as the Jacaranda Restaurant. Perched at the northern end of the central Olympia peninsula, the restaurant had several domed rooms and outdoor seating areas overlooking the inlet. The building burned in 2002, and the site is now (2019) the home of Anthony’s Hearthfire Restaurant. 

Additional resources:

WSHS, catalog, search C1986.43.64.3.31.4.1

Vintage postcard posted on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kelly House

Location: 430 Percival St NW
Local register

Kelly House_1939Kelly House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Kelly House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Kelly House is one of several homes on Percival and nearby streets in the northwest neighborhood  that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Andersen brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the DAHP listing linked below. This house is on the local register. Note its striking similarity to the Winters House, just a block away, as well as the way decorative features made each of these homes unique.  The house was built about 1932. James Kelly worked for the Department of Education.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

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KGY Building

Location: 1700 Marine Drive NE
mid-Century modern; Wohleb

KGYKGY Building, 1960s, KGY ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKGY Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The KGY Building is one of the city’s most distinctive mid-Century modern buildings. The radio station is one of the oldest in the United States, licensed in 1916. It was originally run by Father Sebastian Ruth, and located on the campus of St. Martin’s College in Lacey. It then moved to the Capitol Park (“1063”) building at 11th and Capitol, and then to the Rockway-Leland Building in 1941. Eventually it outgrew this location, and in 1960 architect Stacey Bennett, a member of Robert Wohleb and Associates, was hired to design an “ultra-modern” building over the water at the far northern tip of Olympia’s central peninsula.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory (includes an excellent and comprehensive history of the radio station)

 mid-Century Modern Walking Tour

Looking Back feature: Dick Nichols welcomed to KGY

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Lassen House

Location: 424 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

lassen_1937Lassen House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALassen House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Lassen House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the inventory listing linked below. This house is well maintained and is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built about 1930 and first owned by Irving Lassen. Lassen co-owned the Bergstrom sport shop on Fourth Avenue and later went into the electrical contracting business, Lassen Electric, which is still in business. Lassen also endowed the Lassen Foundation which provides financial assistance to Thurston County’s needy citizens.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Rogers Street Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lee, Elizabeth and Ralph House

Location: 118 19th Ave SW
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

Elizabeth and Ralph Lee House, ca. 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesElizabeth and Ralph Lee House today (2018), photo by City of Olympia

This Dutch Colonial style home was built some time between 1909 and 1924 in the South Capitol Neighborhood. It is on the local register. 

Register application

South Capitol National Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lucas House

Location: 420 Carlyon St SE
Local register

Lucas House, 1953, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesLucas House today (2018), photo by City of Olympia

This home in the Carlyon neighborhood is a well-preserved example of a Tudor Revival cottage, common to the area. The home was built in 1926; it is well maintained and on the local register. The first owner, Howard Lucas, was a director of Capital National Bank. 

Additional resources:

Register application

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Mann’s Seeds Building/Rainy Day Records

Location: 301 5th Ave E
Popular culture

mannsseeds_1964Mann’s Seeds Building, 1964, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMann’s Seeds Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The utilitarian structure at the corner of Franklin and Fifth was built in 1945 and housed Mann’s Seeds. According to historian Bernice Sapp, this was the location of the home of Champion Bramwell (CB) Mann. CB Mann ran a pharmacy in the Turner Block building, was from an early pioneer family, and acted as territorial librarian for a time. His most significant contribution to us, however, was the initiative he took in the early 20th century to locate and survey Thurston County’s original pioneer families, recording how they arrived here, who they came with, where they settled, and other information. This material is now on line as the Thurston County Pioneers Project.

The building now houses a popular and long-standing record store business. The building has not been inventoried.

For more information on the Mann family, see the Residents section of this website. 

Additional resources:

Sapp, Olympia 100 Years ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marathon Park

Location: Deschutes Parkway
Women’s History

1984marathonStart of first women’s marathon trials, near Marathon Park, 1984, courtesy The OlympianOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarathon Park today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Marathon Park, first created in 1970 out of fill that extended the park into Capitol Lake, was renamed in 1984 to commemorate an historic event.

In 1981, the International Olympia Committee finally decided to introduce a women’s marathon at the upcoming 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Major cities immediately began vying for the opportunity to host the first trials for the event. In a move reminiscent of the City’s famous campaign to become the state capitol, then-Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander, along with Slade Gorton, traveled to Philadelphia and wooed the committee with a hospitality room filled with food and beverages from Washington State, including the eponymous Olympia beer. The city easily won out over its larger competitors. It remains the only city under 120,000 to host marathon trials for men or women.

The 1984 trials attracted thousands of participants and spectators. Joan Benoit, later Joan Benoit Samuelson, easily won the trials and went on to become the first women’s marathon winner in Olympic history.

Although Marathon Park is named for that historic event, the trials actually began ended a little south of the park at the Thurston County courthouse. The park is owned by the Department of Enterprise Services, a department of the State of Washington.

Additional resources:

DES webpage for park

Olympian article on the trials (accessed November 14, 2014)

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Medical Arts Building

Location:  1015 4th Ave SW
mid-Century modern

med arts picturePerspective of Medical Arts Building, about 1962, Department of Archaeology and Historic PreservationOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMedical Arts Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Medical Arts Building was commissioned in 1962 by doctors E.V. Olson and William Bigelow. It was completed in 1966. The building was adjacent to St. Peter’s Hospital on Sherman Street, on the West Side,  and housed a variety of medical practitioners, including a pharmacy. The doctors hired noted local architect G. Stacey Bennett to produce a modern, yet practical building whose beauty and utility continue remarkably intact nearly fifty years later.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

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Metropolitan Life Insurance Building

Location:  1006 4th Ave NE
mid-Century modern

metropolitan lifeMetropolitan Life Insurance Building 1960s, Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation files OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMetropolitan Life Insurance Building (Crain’s Office Supply) today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This small Miesian style building was designed in 1958 by architect Kenneth Ripley and served as the Olympia office of Metropolitan Life until the 1970s. Its distinctive low profile and windows reaching up to the eaves were accentuated by beams that held up the flat roof. These have now been obscured by a metal parapet.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s modernism project.

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory,  property 102772 

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moore House

Location: 3811 Pifer Rd SE
Local register; Women’s History

johnmoore_1939Moore House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMoore House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

John and Olivia Moore built this unusual stucco bungalow in 1927. At the time, the location on Pifer Road was far in the outskirts of Olympia, past the Cloverfield farm. John Moore was a local contractor and designed and built the home. Olivia Moore was an organizer for the waitress and cooks union and held national office in the union during a time when women were just being recognized for their contributions to the union movement. The home is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the 20th Century

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Munson House

Location: 2112 Capitol Way S
Local register; South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood

munson_1939Munson House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMunson House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Munson House was built in 1924 by the Munson family. Fred G. Munson was a member of a prominent Olympia pioneer family (see Munson store). He owned a drug store downtown.

This English revival home is on the local register as well as located in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District listing

For more information on the Munson family, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Olympia Junk/Capital City Creamery

Location: 525 Columbia St SW
Diversity: Jewish heritage; Women’s History; Wohleb

Olympia JunkOlympia Junk Co. 1914, Robert Esterly, courtesy of Washington State Historical Societycanvas worksOlympia 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:

Olympia Heritage inventory

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)

For more information on the Bean and Klumb families, see our Residents section (B and K)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Olympia Supply

Location: 625 Columbia St SW
Diversity: Jewish heritage


Olympia Supply floodOlympia Supply, 1987, Courtesy of Olympia Supply
olympia supply nowOlympia Supply now (2012), photo by Matt Kennelly

The Olympia Supply Company is the successor name to Olympia Junk, which was originally located one block to the north of this location. The business is still owned by the Bean family who owned the company until 2016, and are important members of Olympia’s Jewish community (see also Meeker/Bean House). This building contains numerous historical curiosities, including girders that came from the Galloping Gertie bridge. The building was erected in 1946 and is of masonry construction. It is not inventoried.

Until the development of Capitol Lake in 1951, this area abutted Little Hollywood and was largely industrial. When Robert Esterly took his historic photographs of downtown Olympia in 1914, this location was the home of Weller Coal Company, which is pictured in the link provided below.

Addtional resources:

Washington State Historical Society, Weller Coal Company photograph (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box) 2010.149.2.1

For more information on the Bean family, see the Residents section of our webpage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paine House

Location: 428 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

paine_1937Paine House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaine House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Paine House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the Heritage inventory listing linked below. This house is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built about 1929. The cross-timbered detailing on the exterior qualifies the home as a “Tudor Revival” style rather than the English Revival style of its neighbors.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Potts House

Location: 418 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

Potts_1937Potts House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPotts House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Potts House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the inventory sheet linked below. This house is well maintained and is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built in 1929 and first owned by Harold and Gertrude Potts. Harold Potts was a school principal at the nearby Garfield School.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

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Preston, Josephine Corliss House

Location: 1502 Columbia St SW
South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood; Women’s History

preston_1937Preston House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Preston House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Josephine Corliss Preston House was erected in 1907, a well-preserved Craftsman style house in the South Capitol Neighborhood, very close to Capitol Campus. The house is associated with Josephine Corliss Preston, the first woman elected to the statewide position of Superintendent of Schools. Preston had nationwide prominence as an advocate for remedial classes and kindergarten. The house’s proximity to Capitol Campus makes it a popular venue for lobbyists during Legislative Session.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District

Women’s History Walking Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rabeck Building

Location: 311 4th Ave E
Local register; Popular culture

rabeck thenRabeck Music Store (in next block to the east), Piano Trade Magazine, 1915OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARabeck Music Store building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Ammon T. Rabeck arrived in Olympia in 1888, and after working in the mills for several years, opened up a small organ store at the current site of the Ward Building next door. That location later became the home of a rival, the Taylor Music Store. Rabeck moved at least twice more, always on Fourth Avenue, and expanded his business to include the first dealership for phonographs, as well as sheet music, some of his own composition. The drawing at above left shows the extent of his business in 1916, which was then located between Jefferson and Adams Streets; the Fourth Avenue trolley line can be seen approaching from the west. He then moved a block to the west. The current building, which appears much smaller than the 1916 building, was erected in 1927. It is a modest masonry structure with attractive crenelated parapet. The business was sold to Yenney’s in the 1940s, and this building has had several occupants since then. The building is on the local register.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

For more information on A.T. Rabeck (including a brief biography from the 1916 Piano Trade Magazine), see the Residents section of this website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ralph’s Thriftway

Location: 1908 4th Ave E
mid-Century modern

9-13-14ralphsRalph’s Thriftway, 1958, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Ralph’s Thriftway today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Ralph’s Thriftway opened at its present location on State Avenue in 1956. It was a showcase for the very latest in grocery stores. It was also one of the largest stores in the northwest, and included a children’s play area, clothing department, and two leased areas, Bailey Pharmacy and Blue Ribbon Meats. This photograph, taken in 1958, shows the soda fountain and the pharmacy.

Additional resources:

mid-Century Modern Context Statement, City of Olympia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Red Top Taxi building/Site of Cohen’s Confectionary

Location: 113 4th Ave W
National Downtown Historic District, Diversity: Jewish heritage, Women’s History, Popular Culture, Transportation

cohen's pool roomCohen’s confectionary, photo courtesy of Washington State Historical SocietyRed Top Taxi Building

New Moon  Cafe (Red Top Taxi building) today (2012) photograph by
Deb Ross 

Annie and Barney Cohen operated the confectionary/pool hall at this location in the early 20th century, and lived above the store. It was one of many small, family-owned businesses that stretched westwards from the center of town towards the Fourth Avenue bridge. The photograph at above left was one of the series taken by photographer Robert Esterly in 1914, cataloguing the businesses of Olympia and their owners.

Some time later, the building was demolished, and the current brick building was erected in 1948. It housed the Red Top Taxi and also the Trailways Bus station. The building currently houses a small cafe and is well maintained. Its west side once sported one of the several graffiti murals in downtown Olympia, now obscured by the erection of an apartment building next door.

Additional links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

National Downtown Historic District 

Washington State Historical Society photograph (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): 2010.149.6.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mustard House

Location: 1617 Capitol Way S
South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood; Women’s History

mustard_1936Mustard House, 1936, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMustard House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Mustard House on Capitol Way in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood is one of the most prominent homes in the neighborhood. Designed in the Queen Anne style, it was built around 1886 and may have been originally located in what is now the Capitol Campus. By the early 20th century, it was located here and occupied by a husband and wife doctor team, Jack and Flora Mustard. Flora Mustard was a daughter of Olympia mayor A.H. Chambers, from an eminent pioneer family (see also nearby Chambers House and Chambers Block, both owned by A.H.). The home has retained most of its original features. It is not on a heritage register, but has been inventoried.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District listing

For more information on the Chambers family, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seattle First National Building/site of first brewery

Location:  210 5th Ave SW
mid-Century modern

Seattle first National 1960sSeattle First National Building 1960s, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeattle First National (Bank of America) Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Seattle First National Bank Building in downtown Olympia is similar to a building erected in the Denny neighborhood in Seattle for the same institution. Architectural historian Michael Houser speculates that Seattle architects Frank McClellan and Hugo Osterman were asked to alter that building’s design to suit Olympia conditions. It was erected in 1959. The building employs “Roman bricks,” skinnier than standard bricks, a glass curtain wall, and a curved entryway. Note the mosaic of the Legislative Building inside the entryway, just  visible in the photograph to the right.

The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s modernism project.

According to historian Georgiana Blankenship, this was also the site of the first brewery in Olympia. 

Additional resources:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory

Olympia Heritage inventory

mid-Century Modern Tour Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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United Churches of Olympia

Location: 110 Eleventh Ave SE
Religious institutions

united churches 1950United Churches of Olympia, around 1960, United Churches of Olympia collectionOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnited Churches of Olympia today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The United Churches of Olympia is a federated congregation  of the First Congregational Church of Olympia and the First Presbyterian Church of Olympia. Both of these institutions are among the earliest in the city. First Congregational’s original building was near this location, at 10th and Capitol Way. First Presbyterian was located on the corner of Legion and Franklin, where the Sears Building is. The federation occurred in 1915, and the congregations began meeting in the First Presbyterian church’s newer brick building at its original location. The Congregationalists used proceeds from the sale of their original structure to purchase the First Sunset Insurance building across the street from the Franklin Street church.

The church acquired the current location through a donation by the Lemon family and the purchase of adjacent property in 1939. The 1949 earthquake made the previous location unusable, and the congregation met at the Olympia Theater until the basement of the current building was completed, stowing away the Tiffany stained glass windows for later installation. The congregation then met in the basement pending construction of the rest of the building. The main part of the current building was dedicated in 1955. The side chapel and other extensions were completed in the 1970s, and the original Tiffany windows that had been in the First Presbyterian building were installed there.

Although built in the 1950s, the church building is traditional in form, with a steeple and tall stained glass windows running along its length, and a rose window on the west side.

Additional resources:

Washington State Historical Society, enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box: C1986.43.61.1.26.1.19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ward, Samuel House

Location: 137 Sherman St NW
Local register, Women’s history

Ward House_1970Samuel Ward House, 1970, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASamuel Ward House today (2009), photo by Deb Ross

The Samuel Ward House was built by a member of the pioneer Ward family, which owned a lumber mill on the Deschutes River in Tumwater. The home was built in 1889, with a design by architect Mary Page. Miss Page was the first female architect in Olympia, and the only woman to rate a listing in the 1891 Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue. The home is one of the finest examples of Queen Anne style in Olympia and sits on a bluff overlooking Budd Inlet. It is located in the area of West Olympia platted by Samuel Woodruff, also from a pioneer Tumwater family. Interestingly, Samuel Ward’s son, Samuel, Jr., himself became a noted local architect, responsible for the Robert Yantis home, among others.

The home was owned for several years by Vic Meyers, musician and Secretary of State.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society photograph, unscanned, enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box: C1964.26.4.8.8

For more information on the Ward family, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ward-Levenhagen House

Location: 432 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

Ward Levenhagen_1937)Ward Levenhagen House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWard Levenhagen House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Ward Levenhagen House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Andersen brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for over fifty homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House. This house is well maintained and is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built in 1929 and first owned by Charles and Jennie Ward, later by the Levenhagen family.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Warmoth House

Location: 1801 4th Ave E

warmoth_1966Warmoth House, 1966, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives???????????????????????????????Warmoth House today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

The Warmoth House was erected by George Warmoth, a railroad freight operator, in 1910. It is built in an interesting and unique combination of Prairie and Craftsman styles, earning it a place in Olympia’s inventory. It is well preserved and now used as an office, along with most of the former residences along the busy Fourth Avenue East.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Warnica and Warnica

Location: 202 9th Ave SW

warnica and warnicaWarnica and Warnica Building, 1966, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archiveswarnica and warnicaWarnica and Warnica Building today (2015), photo by Deb Ross

This building was erected as a mortuary by A.O. Warnica and his son Earl, in 1923. The Warnicas arrived here in 1905. Except for the enclosing in of the diagonal porch entryway, the building has been well preserved in its original condition. It is currently operated as a bank.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weidner Auto Court/Ouellette House site

Location:  915 Capitol Way S
local register; Wohleb; transportation

weidner auto court_1965Rear view of Weidner Auto Court, on 10th Avenue, 1965, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWeidner Auto Court buildings today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Pacific Highway in Washington State was designated in 1910, at the advent of the automobile age, to connect the cities of Washington State. In 1926, it later became part of U.S. Route 99, the major north-south route on the West Coast. In Olympia, the Pacific Highway proceeded along Capitol Way and then turned onto Fourth Avenue. Along with the highway’s establishment came the need for automobile-oriented businesses. Olympia obliged by creating and promoting several eating establishments, hotels, and automotive services along the route. It also was one of the first cities in the west coast to create one-way street pairs through the city, State and Fourth Avenues.

Ernie Weidner (brother of O. Weidner who owned the Weidner Rummy Club) commissioned architect Joseph Wohleb to create one of the area’s first motels, the Weidner Auto Court, in 1929. Its two Capitol Way facades are decorated in mock-Tudor style, and its rooms stretch along an inner courtyard. Built on an L-shaped lot that faced both Capitol Way and 10th Avenue, the motel wrapped around the Congregational Manse. The view at above left shows the 10th Avenue side of the motel in 1965. The building has been well preserved and is on the local heritage register.

The portion of the court facing 10th Avenue was the site of the Louis P. Ouellette House. Ouellette was an important figure in early Thurston County history. He founded the Puget Sound and Chehalis Railway, one of the early logging railroads, and was surveyor general for Thurston County.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

The Historic Pacific Highway in Washington

Highways of Washington State – US 99

Washington State Historical Society photograph (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), C1952.226.67 (Ouellette House, not scanned)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winters House

Location: 436 Rogers St NW
local register, Rogers Street Historic District

Winters_1937Winters House, 1937, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinters House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The Winters House is one of five homes on Rogers Street Northwest that were built about the same time by Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM). TLM was founded by the Anderson brothers and provided precut homes that could be ordered from a catalogue. The company was widely successful, providing materials for hundreds of homes in Olympia alone. For more information on this company, see the listing for the Harmon House, or the DAHP listing linked below. This house is on the local register in its own right, as well as being located in the Rogers Street Local Historic District, which was created to showcase the unique contributions of TLM to Olympia’s architectural history. The house was built about 1931. It is distinguished from its four neighbors to the south by having a T-shape with a small turret entrance, suitable for its corner location.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Rogers Street Local Historic District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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