We are in the midst of planning our opening weekend out and about talking to our new neighbors, making outfits for our first commissions, and receiving our first walk-in customers. When they see our vintage interior, customers ask about the history of the building to which we say, “We’re working on it!”

Well here it is people. The start of a great story about the history of our building. Here’s a helpful map:

This is our lovely little neighborhood in 1879.

This is our lovely little neighborhood in 1879. Click for a high def picture from the Library of Congress.

Upon the first search of our address, we came up with nothing. Now, Mishka and I are used to this. Certain history likes to stay hidden in pockets, waiting for us. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to searching.

We wanted to find something about the neighborhood in general, partially because the streets had different names in the 19th century, partially because it would give us a good starting point on where to continue our research. On the map, 3rd Street is now State and 2nd is now Olympia. Also, Main Street is now Capitol. The center of downtown has changed… interesting.

Looking at our location on the map, you can see that we are between where the Bayview Hotel on 3rd (State) and the Standard Printing Office on 2nd (Olympia) used to be.

Now that you’re oriented, we can share these tidbits from the Olympia Historical Society website:

The Bayview Hotel was located on Third Avenue (now State Street) in Olympia. Third Avenue was the dividing line between the “respectable” part of downtown and the Dead Zone, or Tenderloin District. As suggested by its name, the hotel was located on what was then waterfront on the north side of the street. In this photograph, from around 1900, the staff and proprietor are awaiting customers in the hotel’s restaurant. Photographs selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. 

The Bayview Hotel was located on Third Avenue (now State Street) in Olympia. Third Avenue was the dividing line between the “respectable” part of downtown and the Dead Zone, or Tenderloin District. As suggested by its name, the hotel was located on what was then waterfront on the north side of the street. In this photograph, from around 1900, the staff and proprietor are awaiting customers in the hotel’s restaurant. Photographs selected and captioned by Deborah Ross.

John Miller Murphy, prolific, opinionated, long-lived editor of the Washington Standard, came to Olympia with his sister in 1851 and, having learned the printing trade in Portland, eventually returned to found the Standard, which he published until 1912. Along the way he was a city councilman, firefighter, member of various fraternal organizations, opera house owner, women’s suffragist, and tireless Olympia booster. He lived near the Standard building, just north of State Ave., even after that area of town became industrialized and a hangout for prostitutes and transients

John Miller Murphy, prolific, opinionated, long-lived editor of the Washington Standard, came to Olympia with his sister in 1851 and, having learned the printing trade in Portland, eventually returned to found the Standard, which he published until 1912. Along the way he was a city councilman, firefighter, member of various fraternal organizations, opera house owner, women’s suffragist, and tireless Olympia booster. He lived near the Standard building, just north of State Ave., even after that area of town became industrialized and a hangout for prostitutes and transients.

Looking back at the map, there was obviously some kind of structure here at 209 Washington in the 19th Century. We’d like to know what that was.

We sincerely hope that we were something fun.

Maybe not this fun.

Maybe not this fun.

Fast forward, we know that past 1927 this was an auto repair shop. It would be great to see what sort of shop it was.

Putting that on the back burner, we are having amazing food for our Formal Fantasy including:

A Selection of Northwest Seafood

Artisan platters from EZ Foods Olympia

Locally Brewed Beer from the Fishtail Pub

A Selection of Regional Wines and Prosecco

AND The Andy Omdahl Jazz Trio

There will also be surprise guests and a raffle of fun historical items like:

  • A 1962 Worlds Fair Elevator Operator Uniform
  • Win A Tuxedo in The Wearers Size
  • 2 $100 Masque & Pettycote Gift Certificates
  • Vintage Sports Equipment From Brocklinds
  • Historical 48 Star American Flag
  • Turn Of The Twentieth Century Steamer Trunk
  • A Collection of Vintage Western Artifacts
  • Original Commemorative Masque & Pettycote Costume Renderings

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s