Eatonville Theater (ca. 1957)

Old Eatonville Theater, ca. 1957
Old Eatonville Theater, ca. 1957

This shot of the old Eatonville Theater taken in the late 50s, taken by Joe Larin, makes the town look like a ghost town. A new theater had been built but this time, just down on Mashell Ave.

Today the building is home to the Eatonville Dance Center.

For those that are interested in a brief history of the building, this comes courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams:

Early history
This building was Eatonville’s first movie theater. It was built in 1915 by Frank Van Eaton. When the foundation and floors were completed around the end of June, the Town decided to celebrate by having their fourth of July dance on this surface.

Later, the addition of walls allowed it to be used briefly as a skating rink. When the building was completed, there was no electricity. A two cylinder kerosene generator supplied power for the first silent films. During the “silent” days, a piano was played during the show; first by A.U. Fairburn and later, Miss Ethel Stinnette.

Eatonville Dance Center, 2015
Eatonville Dance Center, 2015

In addition to film accompaniment, the pianist sold pop corn before the movie and during intermission from a stand set up on a vacant lot next to the theater. In 1922, Angelo Pecchia bought the theater from Frank Van Eaton. Eight years later, in 1930, the “talkies” were first introduced and shown at this theater. In 1931, Angelo married Regina. Mr. and Mrs. Pecchia operated the theater at this location for 20 years. In 1942, they moved into their new theater building next to Hotes Hall on Mashell Avenue.

Past Lives
Since then, the building has housed a Pentecostal Church, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and Eatonville Furniture, operated by Pat and Judy Bertram.

Dance Center & Upholstery Shop
In 2006, Rich and Ruthie Williams purchased the building from Pat Bertram and used it as a warehouse for two years.

In 2009, they renovated the building and converted the furniture store into a dance studio. Justine Reed currently leases the front of the building and manages the Eatonville Dance Center. Pat Bertram still leases the back portion of the building and operates his upholstery shop.

Photo courtesy of the Baublits family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Eatonville School Secretary Out for a Drive (ca. 1915)

Mrs. Norwood, School Secretary driving a Whippet car
Mrs. Norwood, School Secretary driving a Whippet car

Eatonville’s school secretary, Mrs. Norwood, is out for a drive in her Whippet car, along with a dog (I assume it’s hers) in the back seat.

Wikipedia has this to say about the car, “In 1908, John Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company and in 1912 renamed it Willys-Overland Motor Company. From 1912 to 1918, Willys was the second-largest producer of automobiles in the United States after Ford Motor Company.”

Photo courtesy of the Parnell family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Logging Trestle, Nisqually River (ca. 1915)

Kinsey photo of logging bridge
Kinsey photo of logging bridge

One of the big challenges to early logging was getting the logs out of the forest, especially when you were faced with rivers and steep hills. This photo taken by Kinsey of a trestle (I believe over the Nisqually River) demonstrates how they did it. The supports are larger timbers, but it’s the foundation that gives one pause. Big rains and rising waters could easily do damage.

Clark Kinsey documented a number of these bridges, and if you’d like to view others—some under construction—just click HERE to access the University of Washington’s collection.

Image courtesy of Laurie Anderson Osborn.

Click on mage to enlarge.

1912 Eatonville Ads (Bridge, Kipper, Bridge, Howard & Benston)

1912 Ad (EHS Catalog)
1912 Ad (EHS Catalog)

Want to get a glimpse of Eatonville in 1912? Just look at the advertisements. This page of ads comes from the 1912 EHS High School Catalog. You may recognize some familiar names. A. W. Bridge M.D. was one of the town’s first doctor’s. When he passed away he gave his money in his mother’s (Mary Bridge) to a children’s hospital. The hospital still goes by that name today.

Kipper Garage
Kipper Garage

The Kippers were a familiar name in town. Later on you would be able to have your car fixed at the Kipper Ford Garage.

G. B. Ingersoll’s store would later burn in the fire of 1915. Japanese citizens went in and removed the dynamite in the back of his store before it went off.

Howard & Benston were bankers. In 1912 they were paying out 4% on deposits.

Images courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams and Pat Van Eaton.

Click on images to enlarge.

Eatonville Fire, May 1915
Eatonville Fire, May 1915

Eatonville High School Wow’s them in 1915

Eatonville Auditorium 1916
Eatonville Auditorium 1916

On the 4th of July, 1915, Eatonville residents paraded down the Mashell to not only celebrate independence day but to also lay the cornerstone of the new high school.

This school would be first class all the way and at a cost of $45,000 (approximately $1,035,000 today), next to the $16,000 gym. Building got underway and doors opened in 1916. The end result? It blew people away.

No Other Like It
Washington Governor Ernest Lister attended the dedication, along with State Superintendent and, the president of the state college, and, of course, pretty much every Eatonville resident.

Governor Lister said, “There is no other high school in the state like Eatonville’s.” Others agreed. The school was written up in newspapers and journals as an example of what to strive for.

Eatonville High School Gym - 1916
Eatonville High School Gym – 1916

A look inside
It’s not possible to mention all the advanced and innovative features of the amazing 1916 school, but here are a few.
• a steam heating plant in the basement, equipped with an automatic heat regulating system.
• an automatic electric clock in the superintendent’s office. The master clock was connected with 22 smaller clocks in other buildings.
• a fire alarm system.
• a manual training department, complete with the most modern wood and metal working power lathes. It was also equipped with top-of-the-line safety devices in case of an accident.
• a household arts department with a model sewing room, living room, bedroom and a large kitchen laboratory, “where common sense domestic science” was taught.
• a generous agriculture department, including outdoor barns and laboratory.
• physics and chemistry laboratories, and academic classrooms on the third floor,
• a stocked library.
• a reading room and checker and chess room.
• a modern auditorium equipped with a fireproof motion picture lantern room and a three-section lighted stage.

Eatonville-Haynes-Vintage-Pictures-013The new gym also had its own wow factor. It was equipped with dumbbells, Indian clubs, horses, bars, rings, trapeze, rowing machines, indoor track, and more. If that wasn’t enough there was a swimming pool, where students received training in swimming, diving, lifesaving, and first aid.

Civic Pride
There was a great amount of civic pride in the school. It would be hard not to be proud when it was being toted as the “leading rural school system in the Pacific Northwest” and being written up in papers in journals back east.

Thankfully, today things haven’t changed that much. EHS is still a beautiful modern school, equipped with some cutting edge technology. Students are being prepared for the 21st century (instead of the 20th), and civic pride still runs deep.

A Page from the Kjelstad Photo Album (ca. 1917)

Page of the Kjelstad photo album (ca. 1915)
Page of the Kjelstad photo album (ca. 1915)

This page comes straight from the Kjelstad family photo album. Several of the photos give you a glimpse of farming in Ohop Valley back in the early 1900s when tractors weren’t part of the landscape yet. (That’s probably e Matt Kjelstad with the calves in the bottom right.)

The top right image features Ohop Valley pioneer Olava Kjelstad in front of a ca. 1915 automobile. Olava may not look it here, but she was quite the mover and shaker in her day.

Photos courtesy of the Kjelstad family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Laying the Cornerstone of High School – July 4, 1915

Laying EHS cornerstone, 1915
Laying EHS cornerstone, 1915

July 4, 1915, was a big day in Eatonville. The cornerstone for the new high school was laid. There was a parade and everyone gathered to see the start of what would be become one of the most modern schools of its time.

Eatonville would become the envy of many. There would be a swimming pool, state-of-the-art auditorium, modern classrooms, and more. To see the classrooms, just click HERE.

Today, it’s still a pretty great school!

Photo courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.

Early Hardware store

Old Eatonville hardware store
Old Eatonville hardware store

Here’s a glimpse inside the early Eatonville hardware store. The information on the photo says that the stairs in the back lead to an apartment above.

This is probably Mr. Ingersoll’s hardware store around 1914 (see Pat’s comments below). In the 1915 fire, it would not only burn to the ground, it would be the place the got its start.

Photo courtesy of Rick Parnell and the Parnell family.

Click on the image to enlarge.