Location: 107 Capitol Way N
Downtown National Historic District

van epps capitolVan Epps Building, ca. 1895, Courtesy Washington State Historical Society

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVan Epps building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

Theodore C. Van Epps arrived in Olympia in 1870 and soon went into partnership with Samuel Woodruff and his stepfather A.J. Burr to run a stationery and land development store. The original location was on Fourth Avenue (Van Epps Store/Weidner Building) at the current site of Ben Moore’s restaurant. T.C. bought out his partners in 1881 and brought his son W. Altney into the business. In the 1890s, T.C. left the stationery store to his son and opened up a new business focusing solely on real estate. He erected an important building on Fourth Avenue above the Swantown Slough, called the Union Block (current location of City Hall), but the business failed after the crash of 1893. He began the business anew at the building at the above location, which was built about 1895, nestled between the Mottman Building and the Olympia Hardware Building on Main Street (now Capitol Way), one of the more important commercial addresses in Olympia. 

This building has been the home of a saloon, plumbing business, sporting goods store, and is currently home to a book store. The building is not on the local register but is listed as historical contributing in the Olympia Downtown National Historic District.


Olympia Downtown National Historic District

Olympia Heritage Inventory

Washington State Historical Society (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box), C1950.3.50

Miles Sporting Goods store in 1937, in Looking Back

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

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross