Last Letter from La Grande?

La Grande store & post office
La Grande store & post office

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.

La Grande Post Office
La Grande Post Office

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

John A. Nordstrom has been postmaster since 1988.


2 thoughts on “Last Letter from La Grande?”

  1. I remember Going to La Grand quite a lot when I was very young, because my dad worked at the power plant in the 50’s,until he bought Christensen Motors in 1959. We didn’t live in the company houses though, but I remember how I liked the little circle of houses.They all seemed perfect, I wanted to live there. I remember going in that country store also. P.S. Is that John Nordstrom from EHS class of ’71 ?

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