HISTORY & CULTURE
Central Washington is jam-packed with coal mining, railroad, timber, agriculture, education and many more intriguing topics. Visit a wide variety of museums and historical sites that have emerged to pay tribute to these topics. Countless captivating stories, rich cultural backgrounds and intriguing historic sites can be found in Central Washington. Discover the culture of Central Washington today!
Step back in time when you walk through the front doors of The Brick Tavern. The bar was built at 100 Pennsylvania Street in Roslyn, in the late 1800’s, out of 45,000 bricks and took the name The Brick. It is now the oldest continuously operating tavern in Washington State. The exterior of the building has been used for numerous film shots of several movies and TV shows, as well as in the television show Northern Exposure.
The bar still has a running-water spittoon and downstairs is even a jail cell, an old tunnel used during prohibition and head stones!
The Brick has live music on weekends and is a great local hang out as well as a great place for visitors to the area.
Monday through Thursday 11:30 AM – Close
Friday 11:30 AM – 2:00 AM
Saturday 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM
Sunday 11:00 AM – Close
Kitchen open until 9:00 PM
Bank Saloon Building
This building is thought to have been built after the fire. The back wall houses an over-sized safe, used by the saloon’s patrons to hold their spending cash. It has been rumored that ladies of the evening occupied the second floor of this establishment. The upstairs is now utilized as an apartment
Ben Snipes Bank
Cle Elum, WA 98922
BF Reed Building
Briggs F. Reed, a local dairyman, constructed this building for the Ellensburg Automobile Company. The structure was used as a sales garage for several years.
Cle Elum Fish Hatchery
The Clymer is one remarkable place to visit! The Museum showcases artwork of one of the greatest local artists from the early 1900’s, John Clymer, and is a snap shot of life during that period. John Clymer, known for his historic and artistic contribution in documenting the American Frontier, was born in Ellensburg, Washington in 1907. Clymer devoted his time to easel painting, and committed himself to painting the wildlife and history of the American West.
The Clymer Museum of Art endeavors to provide a venue for new and emerging artists as well. Each year many of the exhibitions feature local artists, and often provide artwork for purchase. The museum also provides demonstrations, lectures, school field trips and tours to their visitors.
Monday through Friday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
The museum is also open until 7:00 PM on the first Friday of every month for the First Friday Art Walk.
The Garden represents the bonds of friendship and understanding which exists between people of Japan and those of the Central Washington Region.
Each year the Garden is visited by Masa Mizuno of Masa and Associates Inc., the Japanese landscape architect who designed it. During his visits he provides consultation and training to Central’s grounds crew in the ongoing maintenance of the Garden.
The Museum of Culture and Environment approaches our diverse and changing world with an interdisciplinary perspective, examining human life, culture, and our interaction with the environment. The Museum is located in Dean Hall on the Central Washington University campus. The CWU Museum of Culture and Environment works with diverse communities to create opportunities for lifelong learning that foster self-discovery, global citizenship, and environmental stewardship.
The location is at the corner of 1st & Pearl Street in Ellensburg WA — across from the fire station. There is a public parking lot on the north side of the house. To accommodate the fire trucks there is no parking in front of the house.
Dick & Jane’s Spot is dedicated to the philosophy that “one hearty laugh is worth ten trips to the doctor.”
What was an old ‘billboard lot’ and an ‘unsightly’ gap between the Olympia and Lynch blocks became the Dickson Building on May 22, 1919 when W.O. Ames finished the ornamental hollow terra cotta building for Elizabeth Dickson. The first occupants of the building were C. E. Wheeler & Co. (merchantile) on the north side and J. N. O. Thompson (jewelry) on the south side. The building’s most memorable occupant was Dean’s Radio & Television 1968-2004. The building’s interior was remodeled in 2004 for its current occupants.
Ellensburg Frontier Village
A visit to the Ellensburg Frontier Village is a Step back in time to the turn-of-the-century. The Village has replicated an old town with a blacksmith, sarsaparilla saloon, general store, school house and of course, a place to pan for gold. On site village volunteers man each of the major buildings and cabins, dressed in authentic costumes. Some have been involved in the village for over 30 years. The Frontier Village is located at the Kittitas Valley Event Center. It is a showcase for old salvaged cabins and buildings from the valley’s past, including Ellensburg’s original trading post, Robbers Roost. This building dates back to 1870 and was the original trading post log cabin where Ellensburg was initially started. Several other buildings were transported from the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
The village is in full operation during the Kittitas County Fair and Rodeo and has become a popular site for small local events and outdoor weddings. Off season, special arrangements can be made, including host guided tours of the buildings, by going to the Kittitas Valley Event Center Website to make reservations.
Another building erected by W.W. Fish, this structure later became known as the Bath Block. The Capital newspaper occupied the space for more than 25 years. New owners remodeled the block in the 1930s in the Art Deco style. More recently, the owners recessed the storefront to accommodate a clothing store.
Gallery One Visual Arts Center has monthly exhibitions of local, regional and national artists. Open seven days a week, locals and tourists can visit the gallery spaces, make art, purchase art from over 80 artists in the gift shop or rent the facility for a special occassion.
Gallery One is also host to, or participates in, many local events throughout the year including First Friday, the annual Soup Line, the international Pecha Kucha evenings, and many more. Gallery One is also the central organizing force behind one of the more unique artistic events in the Northwest – Paint Ellensburg. Every September artists sign up to create artworks around town. You’ll find artists outside on the street corners, in coffee shops and other local businesses! Check their website for up-to-date information.
You and your family can try your hand at art-making year-round. From painting to ceramics, classes are offered for all ages and abilities. Ladies love to Sip & Paint, everyone loves to get their hands dirty in the clay studio, families enjoy Sunday Fundays on the third Sunday of each month and kids love summer art camps and the art-after-school programs!
Geiger Woods Building
John Geiger, a tailor, and Alfred Woods, a barber, quickly constructed this building after the fire. Each occupied a suite upon completion. The building’s attractive pediment crowns an impressive cornice typical of construction in town at the time.
Just up the road lies the Ginkgo State Park Interpretive Trails which takes you through short winding trails with petrified wood in its natural state. This is one of the most unique fossil forests that exists in the world with artifacts dating back thirteen to seventeen million years.
Summer 6:30 AM – Dusk
November 1 – March 1: Weekends and Holidays 8:00 AM – Dusk
The Goodey Gallery, managed by the Western Art Association, features original fine art, giclee reproductions, cards and gift items. The Western Art Association (WAA) was formed in 1972 to promote interest in western art, artifacts and to preserve our unique western heritage. Thanks to its dedicated board members and the WAA membership, this non-profit corporation has remained alive and healthy for over 30 years.
The Independent Order of Oddfellows Lodge was founded in Ellensburg in 1881. The Oddfellows first met in a two-story structure at the corner of Pearl and Third. In 1885, town founder John Shoudy donated space for a decent lodge. However, that building burned down four years later. In 1901, the Lodge finally raised enough money to purchase this site in the Maxey Block. The building was completed in 1913 and the Lodge has been in residence ever since.
Since 1961 the Kittitas County Historical Museum has been dedicated to preserving the history of the Kittitas Valley. Headed by descendants of early Kittitas County pioneers, the primary goal in the beginning was to establish a location to display a collection of historical items depicting the valley’s diverse history.
Since then, the museum has been able to grow considerably, displaying a range of historic memorabilia from tools, clothing, artwork and Native American artifacts to historical photographs and antique cars. The collection covers quite a wide time frame of items from dinosaur bone, dating back millions of years, to collections from every stage of Kittitas’ history. The museum has over 9,000 objects in its collection today.
Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
One of the rare three story buildings in town, this building used to appear even taller, with a pediment similar to the Boss Bakery’s. Also now missing is an elaborate cornice that complemented the decorative pilasters between the windows. Henry and Samuel Kleinberg constructed the building and moved in their clothing store in January of 1890. In 1908, J.B. Moser moved into town and opened The Hub, a men’s clothier. The Hub remained in business until 1961.
Built by Samuel Kreidel just after the fire, this building was among the most exuberant in Ellensburg. Before renovations in the 1940s, the center section at the corner of Third and Pearl towered above the street with an impressive cupola, dome, and finial. The Kreidel Building was built using the Germanic Empire style that Samuel Kreidel was familiar with from his home in Germany.
Main Street Market Building
Built right after the big reconstruction rush, the local Masonic Lodge planned and carried out this project. The upstairs continues to house their elaborate secret meeting rooms.
Milwaukee Road Depot
In 2006 the 1908 Milwaukee Road Depot in South Cle Elum was successfully restored by the partnership of the Northern Kittitas County Historical Society and the Cascade Rail Foundation. The depot is situated in Iron Horse State Park along the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail and is at the hub for recreation and historic research. It also includes the Depot Cafe.
New York Cafe
Upper County resident, Peter Giovanini, built this structure. Upstairs there are 27 individual rooms off corridors lit by five different skylights. This was once the busiest intersection in Ellensburg. If you look west from this building, the old train depot still stands at the end of Third Avenue.
The Nielsen Gallery offers one of a kind art you may not expect to find in Roslyn! Artwork from around the world to local western pieces are for sale at reasonable prices. Discover many local artists, too. Stop by and say “Hi”, we would love to show you around! Open Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm.
The Olmstead State park is a working pioneer farm and hails as one of the first homesteads in the Kittitas Valley. Many of the original buildings still stand including a log cabin built in 1875 by the Olmstead family. In addition, there is a dairy barn, grainery, wagon shed, hay barn and the Olmstead family home.
The park consists of 217 acres of farmland and encompasses activities such as hiking, fishing, interpretive trails, wildlife viewing, and a living farm museum. During the winter there is also cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the site.
The park hosts tours and school field trips so call the park at (509) 925-1943 for appointments and further information.
Several picnic tables are available and can be reserved by contacting the park. Hours of operation are from 6:30 AM until dusk in the summer months and from 8:00 AM until dusk in the winter.
Summer: 6:30 AM – Dusk
Winter: 8:00 AM – Dusk
Samuel Pearson built this important local landmark in 1908. In this building, the local Brotherhood of Elks commissioned the top floor to their own specifications. The Elks remained in residence until 1923, followed by the Bureau of Reclamation and, later, the Palace Restaurant.
Rehmke and Brother Jewelry Store first commissioned and occupied this building. In 1951 a fire gutted the whole upper story. The current occupant, The Tav, a local landmark in its own right, changed its name from The Tavern in the mid-1970s. The business has occupied this space since the mid 1930s.
It would be hard to find a cemetery with more historical significance in the state of Washington other than the Roslyn Cemetery. During the coal mining era, settlers of all nationalities lived in and around this small town. The Roslyn Cemetery is a local treasure and a historical snapshot of life in the late 1800’s. It consists of 26 separate cemeteries, many of them individually ethnic. There are five thousand-plus graves which represent 24 nationalities that once lived there. Roslyn’s cemetery is an excellent physical reminder of America’s melting pot heritage.
A map of the cemeteries can be accessed by going to: http://www.mrail.net/data/cemete/wash/kittitas/roslyn/roslyn_map.htm
The museum is a reflection of Roslyn, it’s tenacity, love of life and the richly seasoned ethnic mix that once represented more than 20 nationalities, and still does in the genealogy of it’s inhabitants and former residents. Coal became the common denominator overcoming language barriers, various ideologies and diverse cultures. The result was and still remains a way of life unique to company towns.
The mission of the Sarah Spurgeon Gallery is to offer the campus of Central Washington University and the community at large the opportunity to view and experience art first hand. The Gallery’s exhibitions and related outreach programs (such as workshops, artist lectures, and interpretive programs) are designed to support the Department’s educational objectives as well as to enhance, engage, and challenge the viewer’s knowledge and understanding of art. The Gallery also presents artists and viewers alike with opportunities to explore culturally diverse ideas in an academic environment.
Shoudy Cadwell Block
South Cle Elum Rail Yard National Historic District
The Milwaukee Road’s mid-west train line embarked on a bold Pacific Coast expansion from 1906-1909, turning the railroad into a transcontinental giant with over 1,300 miles of new track.
The Stewart Building has much in common with its flashier neighbor, the Davidson Building. Both buildings were under construction at the time of the fire and were commissioned by John B. Davidson. Davidson, a prominent local attorney, and his partner, D. H. McFall, were the first to occupy the second story of this impressive structure.
One of the most famous landmarks in Cle Elum is the Carpenter House. Built in 1914, the house was owned by Frank Carpenter and his family. Carpenter was the first successful banker in the area and later became mayor of the city. This mansion boasts spacious rooms, intriguing alcoves and a home that is most unusual for that era. The family donated the home in 1989 with most of its original furnishings. Since then, several other local families have donated additional furnishings, costumes and relics from the past. Carpenter House is now very much a trip back in time!
More recently a cooperative effort between the North Kittitas County Historical Society, the museum and High Country Artists has added a gallery space, and a working studio, the High County Artists provide tours and caretaking service to help with preservation and operation of this historical treasure.
Hours: Friday- Sunday 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
The Cle Elum Telephone Museum is an amazing piece of northwest history. WHY? Because Cle Elum was one of the last cities in the country to still use manual telephone switchboards. These days, most people have never even heard of such a thing! Established in 1966 by the Cle Elum historical society, the museum depicts the history of telephones and how technology has improved after the years that followed the manual-operated switchboards to dial phones. The Cle Elum switchboard played a vital role in the Northwest linking Seattle with the East Coast.
The museum is the oldest complete telephone museum west of the Mississippi and shows 135 years of telephone history.
Hours: Friday- Sunday 12:00 PM — 4:00 PM
The Lynch Block
They house the history of the Cle Elum Mining District.
Miners formed in the Salmon La Sac area in 1883 where they found rich deposits of cinnabar, silver, lead, copper, iron, nickel and gold.
Third Eye Tattoo & Piercing
We are a custom street shop that loves to take on a challenge, no matter how big or small! Our shop is by appointment, although we will take walk-ins if we have the time.
We do both tattoos and body piercings, so there is something for everyone!
Built in 1883, the Thorp Grist Mill offers another glimpse into the agricultural history of the area and is one of the few mills left in the state and the oldest industrial artifact in Kittitas County. The Grist Mill was powered by water from the Yakima River and was used to provide feed for livestock, and flour for the local residents. In 1906, the wheels were used to generate electricity.
The Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum honors Washington’s ski and snowboard legends, preserves this state’s ski and snowboard history, educates visitors about this rich sports story and inspires future participation in Washington State’s many and varied ski and snowboard opportunities.
The Wild Horse Wind Farm, which sits atop the Whiskey Dick Mountain, is just a few miles from Ellensburg on high open range tops. Built by Puget Sound Energy, it consists of 149 wind turbines. Wild Horse takes advantage of the region’s strong, consistent winds and abundant sunshine to produce clean, renewable energy.
The visitor center and solar facility is open daily from April through November. On a clear day views of the entire valley are prevalent of the Kittitas Valley, from the Stuart Range to the Columbia Plateau to the east. The Renewable Energy Center is free and offers Wild Horse visitors a first-hand look at how energy can be made from the wind and the sun.
This building, like its neighbors, is made of brick manufactured in Chicago. The iron columns, however, were fabricated locally at the Ellensburg foundry. Thomas Wilson, owner of the Ellensburg and Waterville Stage Line, arranged the building’s construction.
This structure was built by Barthell Zwicker, a German immigrant who had homesteaded in the valley. Zwicker was a successful farmer and rancher who raised prized Durham cattle. The first ground floor business was H. F. Bledsoe’s Grocery Store.