Eatonville may have only had a dirt roads and a few street lights in in 1912, but it still had culture. Sofie Hammer, a Norwegian singer, came to town and entertained folks nearly 100 years ago. She was called the Nightingale of the North.
In 1911, Dr. A. W. Bridgewas concerned about keeping the logging community in one piece. He needed electricity to run his X-ray machines, and worked with the Eatonville Lumber Company to come up with a solution.
In November, he asked permission to “string wire from the mill to the drug store and hospital for the transmission of electricity for light and to operate X-ray machines.”
In February 1912 his request was granted. “Three lights could be dropped from wires owned by Dr. Bridge at a cost of $5.00 each ($110 today) and the Eatonville Lumber Company would supply electrictiy free of charge.”
Extra lights along Groe Street to Mashell Ave.would cost $45.00 more ($1,025 in today’s dollars). The town must have been anxious to move from kerosene lamps to electricity. Eatonville decided to install the street lights as well as one in front of the drug store. (History of Southeastern Pierce County)
Paul Haynes built the hotel for Frank Groe in 1892 on the south corner of Mashell Avenue and Groe Street. It was then called the Pioneer Hotel.
The 20 x 40 building, with eight bedrooms, was constructed solely of split cedar boards, nailed up and down onto a frame of hewed poles. There wasn’t a foot of sawed lumber throughout the entire building. (History of Southeastern Pierce County).
Very Functional The Groe’s hotel was multi-functional. The first church wasn’t built until 1912, so the first public services were held at the hotel.
The hotel caught fire several time, and the townsfolk were able to put it out. But eventually the place went down in flames.
Around 1909 theCity 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).
The Canyada Lodge, in La Grande, was designed by Heath and Gove and opened around 1912. John L. McMurray — a Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney — built the lodge or $92,500.
(This first picture, courtesy of Rich Williams, show it during construction. And I think those are goats on the hillside.)
Visitors on their way to Mount Rainier to could stop, enough the sights, which included the new dam. The lodge, had a short life and burned down in March 1927.
(Second picture, courtesy of Rich Williams, is also during the construction of the Lodge. The next photo, courtesy Pat Van Eaton, is a postcard to promote the elaborate getaway)
A lodge was rebuilt in 1931 by E.J. Leak, although not a elaborate as the first and in a different location closer to the highway. It too had a short live and burned in 1966. The site now houses a private residence.
(The next two photos are postcards of the lodge (Courtesy Rich Williams and Jeff Morrison.)
(Last, is the photo of the newer lodge, built in 1931. Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton, was taken in 1937.)