Posts Tagged With: Historical

A Tale of Two (Small) Forts – Rochester and Centralia, WA

In 1855-56, Washington State had what was known as the “Indian Wars”. In response to concerns about possible attacks, two very small forts were built in Southwest Washington. Erected around the same time period, they both ultimately served very different purposes.

Fort Henness Map, Rochester, Grand Mound, Washington

Fort Henness Map

First is Fort Henness, which was located on Grand Mound Prairie in Rochester, Washington. There is nothing left of it now except for a marker and map of the fort. It’s a beautiful area, flat, with views all around. The fort was built in 1855 and stayed in use for about 16 months until 1856. It was actually quite large considering the one-building Fort Borst described later. It contained two block houses, a school, barracks, and living quarters. At one time 30 families lived there. Fortunately, the fort was never attacked and families returned to their homes.

Fort Henness Map, Rochester, Grand Mound, Washington

Fort Henness Map

A few miles south in the town of Centralia sits the Fort Borst Blockhouse. Unlike Fort Henness, there was just one building and it is still standing. It was also built by volunteers around the same time as Fort Henness, at the junction of the Chehalis and Skookumchuck Rivers. It was also erected in case it was needed for protection from Indian attacks. However, the only thing it ever had to do with Indians was to hold grain that was bought from the Indians in the area. It was originally built without windows and only one door. Later, after the concerns for war passed, Joseph Borst bought the blockhouse and it was used a few times for his family to live in while their home was being built. That’s when the windows and second door were added.

Fort Borst Blockhouse, Centralia, Washington

Fort Borst Blockhouse

As with Fort Henness, there was never an Indian attack on Fort Borst and relationships with Indians in the area settled down. The blockhouse is currently located in Borst Park in Centralia. There are plans to move it back nearer the Borst Home where it was originally located, a site that allowed settlers the same advantage that Fort Henness did – views to watch for attackers.

Fort Borst Historical Marker, Centralia, Washington

Fort Borst Historical Marker

Next time you’re in Southwest Washington, take a quick stop in Centralia at Borst Park and you can just walk right up to the blockhouse. You’ll appreciate the sturdiness and the quality of the craftsmanship – after all it has survived for over 150 years! Then make a quick 15 minute drive out to Rochester and stand at the site where Fort Henness stood – you’ll understand why the site was chosen when you look around and can see what would have been unobstructed views back then.

Fort Henness Site, Rochester, Grand Mound, Washington

Fort Henness Site

It is a relief that these structures were never needed for their original purpose, but they are still an interesting piece of history in the area.

Getting there: Fort Borst Park in Centralia – From I-5, take exit 82 and head west. Before the first traffic light you’ll see there’s a turning lane to turn south in front of the Safeway gas station. Take that turn and go one block and you’ll see the entrance to Borst Park in front of you. Head on in and you’ll see the blockhouse off to your left in the park.

 Fort Henness: Located across the intersection on 183rd Ave. and Apricot Street. The least confusing way to get there is take exit 88, heading east towards Tenino. Turn left on Loganberry Street and go north until you reach 183rd, then turn left again. Head back west over the freeway and go about a mile and a half. You’ll see Grand Mound Cemetery on your left and the field with Fort Henness marker on your right.

Categories: Historical, Outdoors, Parks, Roadside Attraction, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spokane’s Living Room – the Davenport Hotel

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The Davenport Fireplace

Time travel does not exist. But if you want to see what life was like 100 years ago in Spokane, Washington, all you have to do is make a visit to the gorgeous Davenport Hotel.

Built in 1914 and operated by Louis Davenport, it is located in historic downtown Spokane and contains samples of historical architecture from around the world. Italy, France, Spain, England and Russia – they are all represented here.

Walking into the hotel through the revolving front door and entry way, we were immediately in awe. You can see up two stories to a balcony that goes all the way around the second floor, then on up to the skylights. Medallions decorate the borders of the walls and intricate architectural details can be seen at every turn.


Details, details, details

In the middle of the room is a fountain with Koi in it.


Welcoming fountain in the lobby

One side of the lobby holds large chairs and loveseats for guests to relax in. The other side holds tables for a restaurant, and the fireplace. The fireplace is an important piece of the history of this building. Louis Davenport wanted a fire burning in it at all times, summer or winter, in order to make the place feel like home to guests. He called the Davenport, “Spokane’s living room” and wanted all guests to feel at home.

A story we were told illustrates his philosophy. One day when he was up on the second floor balcony, he looked down and saw a “scruffy” looking couple come in with a paper bag. They were planning to eat their lunch in “Spokane’s living room.” Louis saw them and asked one of his staff, “You see that scruffy looking couple there?” The staff person replied, “Yes.” Louis said, “I want you to go down there and put a while table cloth on their table. And I want you to get them some glasses and pour them some cold glasses of water. And get them some silverware.” He honestly wanted everyone to feel like it was their home.

Antique items are everywhere. Even the elevator has an old light system that shows which floor the elevator is on.


Elevator floor indicator

Downstairs is where the pool is located along with a spa and exercise room (don’t worry, this whole area holds modern equipment.) In the hallway leading to the pool though is an original ornate silver water fountain.


Original water fountain

The rooms are new and they were large and elegant. Two beds, a desk, chairs and yes, a TV. But there are not the other modern conveniences of a refrigerator and microwave. We didn’t miss them. The bathroom was spacious and felt like a spa with the soaking tub as well as a very large glassed-in shower. Hotel robes were provided for our comfort.

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Josh felt like he was the main character from “Castle” wearing his robe!

You really don’t want to just stay in your room in this hotel. The beautiful architecture lures you back out with the need to explore every inch and look at every detail. It seemed every time we went back out and looked around we would see another new detail. Exploring the Davenport, we were treated to grand ballrooms with elaborate chandeliers, gold filigree, and beautiful wood floors.

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The Grand Pennington Ballroom

The “Hall of the Doges” was most impressive with its gorgeous painted ceiling.


Ceiling in the Hall of Doges

There were several historical pictures located throughout the hotel. It was an odd feeling to look at a picture from 100 years ago and then look around the hotel and see the exact same details.


The Isabella Ballroom, 1916

The story of the hotel is a true miracle rescue. It had been abandoned in 1985 and was in danger of being demolished in 2000 when Walt and Mary Worthy bought it. They spent $38.5 million dollars and the love and dedication that went into restoring this piece of history, this “living room” for Spokane, truly shows.


The Isabella Ballroom

Finally, there is one piece of living history at the Davenport, a piece that connects Louis Davenport to today. John is 84 years old and started working at the Davenport when he was 13. He said that Louis Davenport himself showed him the ropes such as how to set up the tables and chairs. When the Worthy’s finished the restoration and reopened the Davenport in 2002, John came back to work. He has no plans to retire any time soon. So if you’re lucky and it’s one of days of the week he works (currently Sunday through Wednesday), you’ll have a chance to meet this charming, friendly man and learn about the Davenport’s history first hand.

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John and Nancy

People often just drive through Spokane on their way to places like Yellowstone, and we did as well. We had no idea what we were missing. So next time you are driving through Spokane, put the Davenport on your itinerary as a must see. You just might truly feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

Address: The Davenport is located at 10 S. Post St., Spokane WA 99201


Phone: 1-800-899-1482


Categories: Historical, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lilacs, Sweet Lilacs: Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, Woodland, Washington

1-IMG_3564Who doesn’t love the sweet smell of lilacs! I love it when they bloom every year, I’ll breathe them I as deeply as possible knowing the season to enjoy that fragrance is so short.


Luckily living in western Washington, there is a place where we can go to enjoy a nice variety of colorful and fragrant lilacs. Just down I-5 off exit 21 in the small town of Woodland is the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens. While the grounds are open year round, the gift shop and historical house are only open during Lilac Days – a short span of the middle of April through Mother’s Day. That is also the only time lilac plants are for sale.


It’s not a large place, don’t expect the Butchart Gardens. The area is four acres in size. Once through the gate, you realize that the grounds are not just composed of lilacs. Walking on around the gardens we saw several varieties and colors of lilacs and other plants. Almost every plant has a sign with the name of the plant, which was very useful to learn about the plants and to keep in mind for later.


“Miss Canada”

Strolling through the grounds at times felt like a maze because we would see so many plants, “Oh, let’s go look at that one! Oh, look how do we get over to that one?” We took pictures of both plants and their signs so that we would know which ones we liked best. Then we went to the selling area. Ooohh, decisions, decisions. But then what helped make the decision was the size of the bigger plants. We couldn’t figure out how to get them home in our little CR-V without damaging them. Then we saw the smaller plants and besides fitting in the space in the car, they were of course, much less expensive so I could get several varieties. Popular ones sold out fast and they didn’t have everything in stock but told us about a nearby nursery that should have some items.


There is also a gift store that has all things lilac – aprons, note cards, pens, lotions – you get the idea.


Gift Shop

After a quick trip to the car with our goodies, we went back in to look at the house. Historical houses have such stories to tell. This one was built by Hulda’s parents in 1889 and Hulda and her husband moved in in 1903. She lived there until her death in 1960. The house and grounds eventually went into disrepair, at risk of being demolished until a local garden club stepped in, and the Hulda Klager Lilac Society was formed to take it over. The group has been maintaining the house and gardens ever since.


Hulda Klager’s Home

You have one week left to visit and enjoy the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens this year – they’ll be closing next weekend after Mother’s Day. If you don’t get the chance to make it this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see so many vibrant colors and sweet fragrances of lilacs, knowing they are the legacy of a woman who made them her life’s work to share with all of us.

Getting there: Take Exit 21 off I-5 at Woodland, Washington and follow the signs. They’ll lead you right to it.

Categories: Festivals, Historical, Outdoors, Parks, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington State’s Own Stonehenge


Stonehenge at Maryhill

Stonehenge in England is surrounded by theories and speculation. It’s fun to try to think about what the circle of stones really meant and why it was created. But Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington has a definite known reason and purpose.

This full-size replica of the stone structure was built by Samuel Hill, a businessman, and was finished in 1929. It is however, not made out of stone, but out of concrete. Its purpose is to honor those who died in World War I. The names of soldiers from Klickitat County are engraved on markers. It is also the very first Memorial to World War I Veterans in the entire United States.


Hill had heard that the original Stonehenge was thought to have been created as a sacrificial place, so he envisioned the Maryhill Stonehenge as a tribute to those who were sacrificed in war.

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There are 40 stones on the inside circle and 30 stones on the outside. As the original Stonehenge marks the solstice, so does the Maryhill one. The Altar Stone is aligned to the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.


Altar Stone in the center

Standing in different parts of Stonehenge the sun throws shadows that look both beautiful and intriguing. It’s interesting to stand there for awhile and watch the shadows move with the sun.



Maryhill Stonehenge sits high on a bluff above the Columbia River in the Columbia Gorge. The view is spectacular every way you look. On the beautiful spring day we were there, the sky was deep blue and the grass was still green, not having turned brown yet from the heat.


The Columbia River and Gorge

With no mountains to block the view, you can see west to Mt. Hood.


Sam Hill Memorial Bridge and Mt. Hood off to the left

Looking down on the river you may see fishing boats, speed boats or even barges and tug boats transporting their goods upriver. You can see the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge crossing the Columbia River to the town of Biggs on the Oregon side. In a time-warp feeling of old vs. new, wind turbines can be seen on the Washington hills north of Stonehenge.


Wind Turbines

There is no cost to visit the memorial and it is open from 7am to dusk.

Directions: On the Washington side of the Columbia River, go east on Hwy. 14 and follow the signs to Stonehenge.

On the Oregon go east on Hwy. 84 to exit 104 and the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge at Biggs, Oregon. Take it north, crossing onto Hwy. 14 and continuing east following the signs to Stonehenge.


Categories: Historical, Keatons Out and About, Oregon, Outdoors, Parks, Roadside Attraction, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Teapot Dome and the Government Scandal


Teapot Dome Gas Station

What does a big government scandal have to do with a strange little teapot-shaped building sitting in tiny Zillah, Washington?

In 1915, President Wilson set aside the oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California for the Navy to use as they were converting their ships from coal to Oil. Senator Albert Fall didn’t like the idea. When Warren Harding became president, he appointed Fall to the position of Secretary of the Interior. In 1922 Fall convinced the Secretary of the Navy to turn control of the oil fields over to him, and he promptly accepted bribes for the leases from wealthy oilmen. Once known, the Marines even had to be called in to settle the issue.

So even though the scandal did not directly involve the Zillah area, Jack Ainsworth built the 15-foot-tall Teapot Dome Gas Station in 1922 in his own version of a protest to the scandal, which some consider to be the greatest political scandal up until Watergate.

Trials on the scandal continued through the 1920’s, until 1927 when the Supreme Court ruled that the leases were not valid because they were obtained through corruption, and returned control of the oil reserves to the Navy. In 1929 Albert B. Hall was finally found guilty of bribery and sentenced to one year in prison and fined $100,000 (he accepted $400,000 in bribes).

The Teapot Dome used to sit next to Highway 12 but when Interstate 82 was built the dome was moved into the town of Zillah. The site even includes the original outhouse! However, the gas pumps are not originals. The Teapot Dome is now a visitor’s center. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1985 and is also on the list of the Most Endangered Properties List.


Moving the Teapot Dome Gas Station

To see this unique roadside protest to government scandal, take I-82 to Exit 52 to Zillah. Follow the road up the hill, staying to the right. The beautifully restored red and white Teapot Dome can’t be missed sitting on the left side of the road.

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Centralia, Washington Founded by – George Washington?

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George Washington, Founder of Centralia, Washington

Did you know that the small town of Centralia, Washington was founded by George Washington? No, not that George Washington, but the son of a slave.

Born in Virginia in 1817 to an African-American father and white mother, George was taken in by a couple named Cochran after his father was sold and his mother gave him up. In 1850 they all moved out to Oregon, then north in 1852 to what would later become Washington. However, in 1852, blacks could not own land so Washington had the Cochran’s file a claim for 640 acres (the size of property a person could get under the Donation Land Claim Act). Later, when Washington became a territory and did not bar black’s from owning land, the Cochran’s turned Washington’s land over to him.

George met and married Mary, who was also African-American and white. In 1875 they filed a plat to create the town of “Centerville” when they realized that the railroad would be coming right through the area. But they did so much more than just that. They donated land for a church and a cemetery. They enabled the town to grow, thanks to the Washington’s generosity in selling parcels of land for reasonable prices, and even on payments when necessary. Later on, during financial hard times, they helped set up resources to provide for needy townspeople and buying back land to keep it from foreclosure.

The easiest place to see the continued legacy of George and Mary’s generous donations is the square block surrounded by Pearl, Centralia College Boulevard, Main, and Silver Streets. This is the land they donated for a town square. It is now known as George Washington Park and holds the Carnegie Library, along with a gazebo, and a war memorial. The townspeople enjoy summer nights in the park, listening to “Music in the Park” performed under the shade of several huge trees. This is also where you’ll see the town Christmas Tree lighting up the night all during December.

The town was renamed to Centralia in 1883 because people thought the name was too easy to confuse with many other towns named Centerville.

George Washington died on August 26, 1905. This beloved man had one of the largest funerals ever held in the town and he is now buried in Washington Lawn Cemetery, the cemetery that he provided land for. The large mural of him is painted on the side of the Key Bank building. Key Bank’s address is 201 W. Main Street but the mural is on the side facing Pearl Street. Stop by and take a look at the picture of George along with his dog in front of the door to his house. Then walk on across Main Street to George Washington Park and just stand there for a minute, thinking about how it must have been to be there over 135 years ago planning to begin an entire town. The guts and vision that it took were nothing short of amazing.

Nice job, George, nice job indeed. Thank you.

Categories: Historical, Outdoors, Parks, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

History, Beauty and Fun! – Fort Worden State Park, Washington


Admiralty Inlet

IMG_1540Sitting high on a bluff overlooking the deep blue intersection of the Straits of Juan De Fuca and Admiralty Inlet sits beautiful historic Fort Worden. Built in 1897, the fort became a part of the Washington State park system in 1955 and now encompasses 434-acres. Located in the town of Port Townsend, the park has about two miles of shoreline, historic buildings replicating life in the early 1900’s, as well as local schools and businesses. Centrum is a program located on the grounds that offers ongoing classes for writers, musicians, artists and dancers. The Port Townsend School of Woodworking is also located there along with a branch of Peninsula College. Conferences and retreats are held in the conference center. With dormitories and former officer’s homes available for rent, there is plenty of room for everyone. There are actually a total of 456 bedrooms available for use!


One of the Many Batteries

Two campgrounds are also available, one up high on the bluff and one down near the beach and lighthouse.

We have stayed in the lower campground twice and loved it. There is a small berm to block the wind blowing in from the water, but a short walk, literally just a few feet, over it and you are on the beach. The camping spots are large with a lot of room between them. Of course there are restroom and shower facilities available as well. One of Josh’s favorite parts is the fact that there is a remnant of concrete military bunkers known as “batteries” right next to the campground and he always spend hours running around in it with a flashlight, meeting other kids and scaring each other.

Down by the lower campground is also where the Marine Science Center is located. It hosts exciting wildlife cruises as well as amazing hands-on activities for kids, such as day or overnight camps and classes.


Coast Artillery Museum

A visit to the Coast Artillery Museum will help you learn about the history of the site.  Fort Worden was established as one of three harbor defense posts for Puget Sound. The other two are Fort Flagler and Fort Casey. You can see models of the batteries so when you actually get out on the grounds and find them, you’ll understand better what you are looking at.


Fireplace in Commanding Officer’s House

One of my favorite buildings is the Commanding Officer’s Quarters which was built in 1904. It has been painstakingly restored and furnished in the grand style of the 1890s-1910s. The interpretive guide looked quite handsome in his period clothing and had a wealth of knowledge about the house and its history. I don’t think there was one question that I had that he couldn’t answer.

There are so many activities available in the park – boating, fishing, crabbing, hiking, biking, swimming and of course, running around the batteries. If you don’t have your own boat or bike you can rent bikes and kayaks. There is usually some sort of event, show, class, or performance going on somewhere on the grounds. In the evenings we always saw deer out grazing in the big parade grounds. Just sitting and watching the huge ships going through the straits is amazing.


Dress Displayed in Commanding Officer’s House.


Replica Barracks Room

Both times we have been there I couldn’t help but think about the families, particularly the women, who lived there a hundred years ago. Did they think it was just as beautiful as I do or was it nothing special to them? With all the batteries, beautiful buildings and facilities which seem like they would have met their every need, did they feel safe or did they feel isolated? Was it a choice assignment or just a stepping stone to something they thought was more desirable?


Officer’s Row Houses for Rent

There is so much to see and do, so much to wonder about at Fort Worden State Park, that it is well worth your time to take the family and discover all that the park’s 434 acres has to offer. Learn the history, explore the batteries. Maybe stay in one of the old houses and see if you can experience life as those families did 100 years ago!

For reservations and more information,


Getting there: (from the Fort Worden website) –

From Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry to Fort Worden State Park

Depart from the ferry terminal, and drive straight (NE) on State Route (SR) 305 for approximately 13 miles. Drive through Poulsbo, and take a right onto the ramp for SR 3 to the Hood Canal Bridge – approximately 7 miles. At the lighted intersection for SR 104, take a left and remain on SR 104 for about 6 ½ miles. At the intersection of SR 19, turn right. Stay on SR 19 for 14 miles; it will merge with SR 20. Continue straight (north) on SR 20 into Port Townsend, take a left on Kearney Street, right on Blaine Street, left on Cherry Street, and follow signs into the park.

From Canada/Northwest Washington to Fort Worden State Park

Travel south on Interstate 5 to Highway 20 (Burlington exit). Follow Highway 20 west through Oak Harbor and Coupeville to Keystone Ferry, approximately 42 miles. Take the Keystone Ferry to Port Townsend. Depart from the ferry terminal and turn left onto Water Street. At the first stop light, turn right onto Kearney Street. At the first stop sign take a right on Blaine Street. At the next stop sign, take a left on Cherry Street, and follow signs into the park.

From Edmonds-Kingston Ferry to Fort Worden State Park

Depart from the ferry terminal and drive straight on State Route (SR) 104. Follow signs to stay on SR 104 through Port Gamble to the Hood Canal Bridge, approximately nine miles. At the lighted intersection for SR 104, turn right and remain on SR 104 for about 6.5 miles. At the intersection of SR 19, turn right. Stay on SR 19 for 14 miles; it will merge with SR 20. Continue straight (north) on SR 20 into Port Townsend. Turn left onto Kearney Street, and at the first stop sign turn right on Blaine Street. At the next stop sign, turn left on Cherry Street, and follow signs into the park.

From Tacoma to Fort Worden State Park

Follow Highway 16 across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and follow the signs to Bremerton, approximately 27 miles, where the highway changes names to SR 3. Follow SR 3 about 25 miles to the Hood Canal Bridge. At the lighted intersection for SR 104, turn left and remain on SR 104 for about 6.5 miles. At the intersection of SR 19, turn right. Stay on SR 19 for 14 miles; it will merge with SR 20. Continue straight (north) on SR 20 into Port Townsend. Turn left onto Kearney Street, and at the first stop sign turn right on Blaine Street. At the next stop sign, turn left on Cherry Street, and follow signs into the park.

From Olympia to Fort Worden State Park

Take US 101 northbound towards Quilcene. About 12 miles past Quilcene, bear right onto SR 20. Follow SR 20 approximately eight miles then turn left at the lighted intersection, which keeps you on SR 20. Continue straight (north) on SR 20 into Port Townsend. Turn left onto Kearney Street, and at the first stop sign turn right on Blaine Street. At the next stop sign, turn on Cherry Street, and follow signs into the park.

Categories: Historical, Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks, RV/Camping, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Making Memories – Campbell’s Resort, Chelan, Washington

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Just three hours from downtown Seattle, the small town of Chelan swells from a population of 3800 to 38,000 during the summer. It seems that everyone you talk to, from store clerks to other visitors in the wineries, has some connection to Seattle. There is a lot to do with the gorgeous deep blue 55-mile-long Lake Chelan providing miles of water fun. So where should a family stay when they visit Chelan? That’s easy to answer – it’s the incomparable Campbell’s Resort.

Campbell’s Resort is the heart of Chelan, both physically as well as emotionally. It’s the place where families come back year after year, generation after generation and is located right on Lake Chelan. Of course, there are several nice facilities in Chelan, so what makes Campbell’s stand out so impressively?


Kayaks for Use by Guests

The first thing that makes this resort outstanding is the variety of family activities. Kids of all ages can take out the resort’s kayaks or stand up paddle boards. On Wednesdays, Campbell’s hosts a Kids Fishing class. There’s craft hour, movie night, and organized activities on the beach. But the parents have not been forgotten – there is also a convenient beach bar for the adults. To keep guests secure, Campbell’s actually has their own security force and web cams. That eases a parent’s mind who wants to be able to let their children branch out and have some fun without mom and dad hanging over them. Guests also have a wristband to help identify them as customers. Co-owner, Tom Campbell said this job is first memory-creating, then property management. Everything has to run like clockwork. “There’s never a time there’s not a Campbell on site,” smiles Tom. Tom and brother, Eric, are 5th generation Campbell’s to work at the facility and are very proud of their family tradition.

View from Veranda

View from Veranda

The customer service is top-notch. Just talk to the staff and you will see how much they enjoy working for the Campbell’s. An enjoyable workplace always translates to the staff passing on that attitude to their customers. Taylor Growth was our waiter when we enjoyed a tasty meal on the open-air veranda. He has worked for Campbell’s for five years, year-round. One of the perks he appreciates is that Campbell’s provides season passes for two employees at one time to go skiing at Mission Ridge.

For those interested in history and architecture, the story behind Campbell’s resort is as fascinating as the experience of the stay. The original structure, known as the Chelan Hotel, was built in 1901 by Archie Campbell who came out from Sioux City, Iowa and served as lodging and meals for miners from Holden Village which was once a copper mine. Tom and Eric’s grandfather dug out the dirt below the hotel to make the restaurant. The original structure is now listed on the historic registry.

Door Knob in Original Building

Window Over Room Door in Old Building

Room in Original Building Left As Is

Room in Original Building Left As Is

Over the years the original building has been added on to, creating the surrounding motel rooms, Bistro, and Pub & Veranda. Today there are over 170 rooms which includes two cabins, some two- and three-bedroom suites, rooms with adjoining doors as well as regular single rooms. In 2008 the Campbell’s chose Dawson Design to completed a $3 million renovation to create a more cohesive style to their rooms. With so much variety, there are facilities to accommodate any size of family.




View from the Veranda

Campbell’s Resort now encompasses eight acres, including 1200 square feet of beachfront. Across the road from the original site sits more meeting space and a full spa. The resort hosts events such as weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions.

Campbell’s Resort is a well-respected business and a valued member of the community. Their reputation is a testament to the hard work of the previous generations. The Campbell’s intend to continue the fine service and community involvement that their ancestors started. As future families return to Chelan year after year, there will be future Campbell’s to help create those cherished memories.

Check them out at

104 West Woodin Avenue
Chelan, WA 98816
Phone: 509-682-2561

Getting there (courtesy of website):

From Seattle/Tacoma and South on I-5/I-405

  • Take I-90 East toward Spokane
  • Just after Cle Elum, take Exit 85 to Wenatchee
  • At the top of the ramp, turn left and then turn right, following the signs for 970 East toward Wenatchee
  • US 970 becomes US 97 North
  • After about 35 miles, turn right onto US 2 East
  • Just before entering Wenatchee, exit onto US 97 ALT North toward Okanogan/Spokane. The off-ramp will loop around to a stop light – go straight through the stop light
  • Take the second right after the stop light labeled 97 ALT north to Chelan. The exit will loop around to US 97-ALT North
  • Take 97-ALT North approximately 33 miles. You will enter the Chelan Valley and follow the lake for three to four miles
  • As you near Downtown Chelan, you will see a sign that says City Center and another lodging sign that says Campbell’s Resort. Turn left, following those signs. Just over the small bridge, turn left into the entrance of Campbell’s Resort

From Everett and North on I-5

  • Take US 2 East through Monroe, Goldbar, Leavenworth and Cashmere to Wenatchee (about 120 miles)
  • Just before entering Wenatchee, exit on to US 97 ALT North toward Okanogan/Spokane. The off- ramp will loop around to a stop light– go straight through the stop light
  • Take the second right after the stop light labeled 97 ALT north to Chelan. The exit will loop around to US 97-ALT North
  • Take 97-ALT North approximately 33 miles. You will enter the Chelan Valley and follow the lake for three to four miles
  • As you near Downtown Chelan, you will see a sign that says City Center and another lodging sign that says Campbell’s Resort. Turn left, following those signs. Just over the small bridge, turn left into the entrance of Campbell’s Resort

From Spokane

  • Take I-90 West
  • Take US 2 West thru Davenport, Coulee City, and Waterville to Orondo (about 130 miles)
  • In Orondo, take a right on to US 97 toward Chelan Falls (about 22 miles)
  • Just after crossing the Beebe Bridge, turn left onto US 150 towards Chelan (about three miles)
  • Turn left at the stop sign onto US 97A/SR 150 toward Chelan/Manson
  • Go through straight through the stop light and straight through the stop sign
  • Campbell’s Resort will be on the right hand side, before the bridge

From Portland via Yakima & Blewett Pass

  • Take I-84 East toward Hood River
  • At The Dalles, take Exit 104 toward Yakima/Bend
  • Turn left at the top of the ramp on to US 97 crossing the bridge into Washington
  • At the top of the hill, turn left at the stop sign following the signs for SR 14/ US 97 North
  • Take an immediate right, following the signs for US 97 north. After about 59 miles, US 97 becomes WA-22
  • Merge on to I-82 West toward Yakima
  • Merge onto I-90 W/US-97 N via the exit on the LEFT toward Seattle
  • Take the US-97 N exit 106, toward Wenatchee
  • Continue to follow the signs to US-97 through a series of turns
  • After about 12 miles, turn right to stay on US-97
  • After about 35 miles, turn right on to US 2 East
  • Just before entering Wenatchee, exit on to US 97-ALT North toward Okanogan/Spokane. The off-ramp will loop around to a stop light
  • Go straight through the stop light
  • Take the second right after the stop light labeled 97-ALT north to CHELAN. The exit will loop around to US 97-ALT North
  • Take 97-ALT North approximately 33 miles. You will come into the Chelan Valley and follow the lake for three to four miles
  • As you near Downtown Chelan, you will see a sign that says City Center and another lodging sign that says Campbell’s Resort. Turn left, following those signs. Just over the small bridge, turn left into the entrance of Campbell’s Resort

From Okanogan/Omak, Oroville and Penticton, BC

  • Take US 97 South
  • Turn right on to US 97 ALT/ST 150 toward Chelan
  • Follow the highway into Chelan, going straight through the stop sign at Walmart
  • Go straight through the second stop light and straight through the stop sign in the middle of town
  • Campbell’s Resort will be on the right hand side, before the bridge


Note: As is common in the travel industry, we were provided with complimentary meals for the purpose of review. While this has not influenced this review, we believe in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

Categories: Boating/Kayaking, Fishing, Historical, Outdoors, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Columbia State Park, Washington

Often when a person thinks about going to Long Beach, Washington, it includes playing around on the beach, maybe going to see Fort Canby and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. But did you know there’s another fort in the area?

Heading out the alternate route of Hwy. 101 on the way to Astoria is Fort Columbia.

If you’re in a hurry or paying more attention to the tunnel coming up on the highway, it’s easy to breeze right by the fort. I’m a little embarrassed to admit we’ve done it many times. Until we had time to take it slow and easy one weekend and finally took the opportunity to stop.

I had heard very little about this fort, everything in the area seems to be focused on Fort Canby, so I guess I assumed there wasn’t much at Fort Columbia. I was dead wrong. Not only are there gun emplacement facilities, but there is also the beautifully renovated homes that were built to house the soldiers, their families and supporting businesses. It was truly a small community, just like any other town.

The 593-acre site is located on Chinook Point in southwest Washington, situated overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River. Building began in 1896 and was completed in 1898. Confusingly, various websites as well as signage at the park itself seem to contradict each other as some say it was active in 1896, some in 1989 and some in 1899. Whichever it was, it was an active military site until 1947. It was turned over to the State of Washington in the 1950’s and is now a day-use park but some of the facilities can be rented as vacation houses. There is also a museum and visitor’s center.

There are several informational signs around the property explaining the various buildings, ruins and gun sites. Some of the signs have tags, the little squares that you can access with your smartphone, and it brings up tons more information on your smartphone, including an audio tour.

Kids love spending the day running around the batteries, in and out of the tunnels, using flashlights, making echoes, and pretending to be soldiers from WWI and WWII. The colonial architecture of the housing draws the person with a love of both history and home design. And everyone is drawn to the sensational view from high up on the hill, stretching out over the entrance to the Columbia River, down to Astoria and beyond.

So if you’re on a day or weekend trip to the Long Beach peninsula, do something a little different from the usual shopping and go-karting in town and head down to Fort Columbia. You won’t be disappointed.

More great pictures of the buildings can be found here:

If you’re into the details of the plans for the site here is a site with fascinating specs:

Getting there: From Long Beach, you can either head south on Hwy. 103 to Ilwaco. In town, turn left at the light and follow the signs for Hwy. 101 Alt. east (towards Astoria). Go about 8 miles until you see the sign for the park on the left. Or from Long Beach you can head back east on Hwy 101 then about 2.4 miles turn right onto Alt. Hwy 101 (towards Astoria).

Categories: Parks, Washington | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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