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Building of Eatonville Grandstand

Submitted by on August 19, 2011 – 9:38 am11 Comments

Building the Eatonville Grandstand

Building the Eatonville Grandstand

If you’ve been to an EHS football game, you’ve probably sat in the grandstand to root on the team.

This picture shows the men in the middle of building the first Eatonville grandstand — or possibly the one that’s still there today.

This bunch of rugged guys put in a lot of back breaking work — notice all the rope for pulleys to hoist things around. In fact, these particular men were WPA workers. (The Works Projects Administration – 1935-43 – was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects.

Eatonville Grandstand 2011

Eatonville Grandstand 2011

Not only were the bleachers (initially built for baseball) labor intensive, there was little in the way of safety equipment. However, I do notice there are 8 pipe smokers.

Photo courtesy of the Taylor family.

Click on image to enlarge.


  • David Beane says:

    That is something that I admire about the pioneers, and people of that generation, is their bonding together to get something done. It seems like there was more taking care of each other back then. Most likely out of shear neccesity, but still, a quality I think is less previlant in todays society. Small towns seem to have more bonding amoung its residence, which is why Eatonville has always been a nice place to live.

  • Abbi Wonacott says:

    This picture and ones like it confuse me. I have a picture of Lyon’s Field in 1937 with no apparent bleachers. I was told the WPA built them as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal in the ’30’s, but the pic looks likes it was taken earlier in time. However, they are wearing work clothes, and most WPA were men who were previously out of work. According to History of Tacoma Eastern Area, Eatonville did not play football until 1939.

    • Abbi Wonacott says:

      Sorry, forgot to mention that,supposedly, these men in this pic are WPA workers.

      • dimettler says:

        I’ll put that in the post. I knew they were WPA workers — assumed they just might be from around the area. Timing makes sense. The WPA guys were working from 1935 to 1943 and we started playing football in 1939.

        And just because they were out of work doesn’t mean they didn’t have jobs before they lost them in the depression and still had the clothes. Heck, I’ve still got my suits from office jobs long past. 🙂

  • Pat Van Eaton says:

    The grandstands were built for baseball.There were two dugouts at the base of the grandstand & the back stop & home plate were at the south end . The pitchers mound had to be removed each football season & rebuilt for baseball. It also explains why the grandstnd is not centered on the fooball field. I have pictures in the mid 30’s of EHS baseball teams posing on the field in front of the grandstand.

  • Pat Van Eaton says:

    The picture #238 in Eatonville History Shows the 1936 EHS team on the infield but the grandstand appears to be different.It looks like they replaced it & moved it north a little.But it was built for baseball.

  • Abbi Wonacott says:

    Yes, I was taking a look at other pics. I mentioned these pics confuse me, and I was told it was WPA that built bleachers. This pic looks much earlier and found out what Pat was saying about the baseball bleachers. I have not been able to confirm the date of this pic. Fun, fun learning about these pics and the stories surrounding them.

  • […] in the 40s Interesting fact: In the 1940s the WPA (Works Projects Administration) created sewing projects where women produced clothing which was distributed to the […]

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