Around 1909 the City of Tacoma decided to build a hydro-electric plant in La Grande. They built it between 1910 and 1912 and it cost $58,780,00 ($2,354,984 in today’s dollars). The new plant could produce 6,000 kilowatts, which was enough to meet the entire city’s needs.
Besides the plant, a number of homes built at La Grande for the workers at the plant. There were something to behold in 1912 because they had no chimneys. They were heated and lighted from the Tacoma Power and Light. (Per History of Tacoma Eastern Area).
In fact, La Grande became known in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the ”town without a chimney.” (Per David Smith).
It’s amazing how modern the homes look by 2011 standards. Unfortunately, none of the homes remain standing today.
Photos courtesy of Rich Williams.
Click to enlarge.