I don’t know what’s more impressive—the iconic Paradise Inn or Mount Rainierlooming behind it.
“Construction of the majestic Paradise Inn was completed 100 years ago in 1916. Today, entering the inn with its large timbers and massive stone fireplaces is like stepping back into an earlier time. You can almost envision the dusty travellers of the early 1900s in their long skirts and woolen traveling suits enjoying refreshments in the lobby,” says the Park Service.
This second shot is of the lobby, but in the 1940s. It’s still cozy today and worth a visit!
Photo courtesy of the Park Service and Diane Mettler.
By 1916, a number of new businesses had sprung up in Eatonville, including Hearn Jeweler. In this picture the building is under construction — most likely bricks from Clay City. The building was a jewelry store, and was later the post office. Today you know it as Eatonville Outdoor.
Photo courtesy of the South Pierce County Historical Society.
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 Listerattended 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.
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.
The 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.
You might think, “Wow, that place must have been famous to have its own postcard,” but it’s actually an RPPC (Real photo postcard).
RPPC Cards “In 1903 Kodakintroduced the No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak. The camera, designed for postcard-size film, allowed the general public to take photographs and have them printed on postcard backs. They are usually the same size as standard vintage postcards (3-1/2″ x 5-1/2″). Also known by the acronym “RPPC”.
Kodak’s 3A camera pioneered in its use of postcard-size film but was not the only one to make Real Photo postcards. Many other cameras were used, some of which used old-fashioned glass plates that required cropping the image to fit the postcard format.” (Per Wikipedia.)
Helen’s Card For those of you who can’t read second grade writing well, it reads . . .
Eatonville, Wash., March 19, 1916
Dear aunte Ti ane
I will send you a card of our house. I am going to school and I’m in the second grade.
Thank you for the nice things you sent us for Christmas. With love to all. Helen Peterson
This shot of the Ag Room at the high school is packed with detail about what farming was all about back then. Notice the poster for the farm horse, and others on the hog, the sheep and bottler are covering one on beef.
Lots of grasses are being grown and lots of testing.
The Popular Educator wrote in December 1915 of Eatonville’s Ag department:
“With seven acres as a background, agriculture began in real earnest — agriculture which is being learned not only by school chilren, but by their parents and anyone in the district who will learn. Eatonville must hope to be a strong agricutlural center when the teimber begins to fail.
“As a beginning in practical agriculture, then, three pens of pure bred poultry were obtained from the State Agriculture Experiment Stations, and were kept on the school grounds and cared for by the class in agriculture. This created a great deal of interest among the pupils, who kept records of feed and of egg productions. Good results were obtained , and the immediate and direct benefit to the community has been more good poultry in Eatonville this year than in may years before.
“The class in agriculture also purchased six pigs, paying three dollars each for them and buying all feed at retail. These were also cared for on the school farm, and accurate records kept, showing feeding, expense and increase in weight each week. Prizes of five, three and two dollars were offered by citizen [for the best raised pigs]. And as a result to the community, the parents are gaining confidence in the school. One man who saw his boy’s record decided that his hon knew more about raising pigs than he did, and turned his pigs over the boy to manage.
Besides these experiments in managing live stock, there were over two hundred experiments in grains, grasses, and various crops carried on by the class in agriculture. These best breeds of live stock, the best crops to suit local conditions, will be determined by these experiments and by visits to successful farms nearby.”
Photo and information courtesy of the Haynes family and Rich and Ruthie Williams.