There’s word that the La Grande post office may be closing. If so, it will be an end of an era.
The post office has been in operation since it opened in 1910 — back when Taft was in office and people were singing “Let Me Call you Sweetheart”.
History behind the store It was built as a store and post office when the Tacoma hydro-electric plant was built between 1910 and 1912, costing a $2,354,984 ($58,780,00 in today’s dollars). The new plant could produce 6,000 kilowatts, which was enough to meet the entire city’s needs.
The La Grande store and post office serviced the homes built in La Grande to house the workers. Some of these homes were definitely ahead of their time. They stood out because they had no chimneys—they were powered and heated solely by electricity by Tacoma Power and Light.
Post masters The little post office changed hands frequently. “Fred Hodgins, one of the early settlers, had the store and post office. He died suddenly and his brave little wife, Opal, carried on until she sold out to Floyd Gilbert, who took charge of the store and wife Helen was appointed postmaster in 1939.” History of Tacoma Eastern Area
These two shots are of the band in about 1910. Going to the Western Washington Fair(which would have only been 10 years old at the time) was a big event. It was a six days and parking was 25 cents. The biggest attraction back then was horse racing and the fair was built around a horse track.
Back in 1910, fair was known as The Valley Fair, and it was renamed in 1913.
In the second picture, two of the smaller band members got to ride the bull — definitely something a school would frown on today.
The last picture is of the Eatonville high school band playing in the town’s July 4th parade in 2008 — 98 years later. The clothes are a little different, but the instruments look the same!