Almira Hotel - Almira, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 42.673 W 118° 56.460
11T E 354406 N 5286028
Quick Description: The little town of Almira has a single National Register property, the Almira Hotel.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 6/24/2018 2:12:21 PM
Waymark Code: WMYKAZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

Long Description:
Completed in 1918 at a cost of $60,000, the Almira Hotel has undergone few alterations since its construction, retaining good architectural integrity inside and out. A fairly plain brick building, the most noticeable decorations on the exterior are Greek Revival pedimented window hoods over each of the upper storey windows. The 3rd Street side was obviously meant as the main entrance as over the double doors, surrounded with copious amounts of glass and woodwork, is a 33 foot by 9 foot, flat canopy supported by hand-forged chains affixed to the masonry above. At the roof is a prominent galvanized metal parapet and wide overhanging eaves which extend four feet from the brick surface. As late as 2006 a neon sign reading "HOTEL" hung from the southeast corner, but it is now gone. The hotel was built with commercial/retail bays on the ground floor, housing a variety of eating and retail establishments over the years, and even the post office and the telephone office for a time.

The adjoining two-story brick building at the north end of the hotel was erected in 1917 at the same time as the Almira Hotel and is not part of the hotel. The hotel itself appears to be vacant at present and undergoing renovation.

The first boarding house in Almira was opened about 1885 by Charles C. Davis and his wife, Almira Ridgeway Davis, after whom the town of Almira was named. This building was actually the third Almira Hotel to grace the town:

People came, buildings and homes were built, business flourished, and by 1902 the town had grown to 289. The first hotel built on the present site of the Almira Hotel was the Northwestern Hotel. Samuel Hyde bought it in 1897, and re-opened it with a new name: the "Hotel Almira."

In May 1902, Frank Heffenish bought Hotel Almira for $4,500. One year later his investment went up in smoke. A fire that started in the kitchen destroyed the hotel and surrounding buildings...

In 1905, a newspaper article reported that "Boone Thompson and Willis Schrock have commenced the erection of a $14,000 hotel on the corner of Third and Main... The building is to be a two-story brick. They expect to have the same completed before spring."

The success of the second Almira Hotel, however, was short-lived. On December 8, 1916, fire again destroyed the building:

Last Friday evening the Thompson & Schrock building, [which was] occupied by the Hotel Almira, the Union Supply Store, R. L. Drinkard [Clothing], and the Pastime Billiard Parlor, was destroyed by fire, resulting in an estimated loss of $70,000. The fire started in the basement... The alarm was turned in but all that could be done was to protect the buildings on the east side of the street and prevent the fire from spreading. By 9 o'clock the interior of the building was destroyed. Thompson & Schrock will rebuild as soon as possible. It is understood that the new building will be larger than the old one and that the hotel portion will contain three times the number of rooms.

The Almira Hotel
Although they sustained a loss which was eventually listed at $88,000, Boone Thompson and Willis Schrock made good on their word. They cleared the ground and began construction of an unreinforced brick masonry single room occupancy hotel building in 1917. The March 23rd edition of The Big Bend Outlook reported that "work commenced on the new Hotel Almira the first of the week. The new building will be three stories high and will contain 45 rooms. In addition provisions will be made for a store for R.L. Drinkard [Clothier] and for the post office and the telephone office." Two months later, a newspaper article reported that "work on the new three-story hotel building" was "delayed on account of inability to get material." This predicament was probably due to the need for construction materials for World War I which was being fought at that time in Europe.

Even with the abiding scarcity, materials were found, the building was erected, and by December 1917, the Almira Ladies Auxiliary publicly thanked the hotel's property owners for hosting their fund-raiser dinner event. They published their thanks in the local newspaper and said, "We feel that we are much indebted to Mr. Schrock for his generosity and kindly considerations in allowing us the use of the dining room of the new hotel...
From the NRHP Registration Form

As a footnote, it should be mentioned that the Almira Hotel is reputed to be haunted. Apparently, workmen who had stayed at the hotel during construction of the Grand Coulee Dam liked the place so much that they returned after they passed away. Men in workman’s clothes have purportedly been seen in the basement and on the main staircase, while knocks and other strange sounds and voices have been heard during the night.

Almira Hotel

At a height of three stories, the Almira Hotel towers over surrounding buildings and homes and is prominently sited in the town's central business district on the northwest corner of Main Street and Third Avenue. With un-reinforced brick masonry construction, symmetrical fenestration patterns, street-level storefronts, and intact multiple single occupancy hotel rooms on the second and third floors, the Almira Hotel is an excellent example of the building type "single room occupancy hotels." 1 The Almira Hotel has had few modifications since it was built in 1917, and retains good exterior and interior architectural integrity in original location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association as a single room occupancy hotel built during the early 20th century in Almira, Washington.

...the building became a noted community center in Almira,3 and during the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930s, was home to hundreds of engineers, government officials, and laborers who built the concrete superstructure. The hotel was built for Willis Schrock and Boone Thompson, prominent Lincoln County landowners, real estate investors, grain directors, and Almira businessmen.

In 1884, Charles C. Davis, a young teacher, left his native Indiana by way of St. Paul, Minneapolis and arrived at the banks of a little creek located on the western edge of Lincoln County in Central Washington. Railroad and homestead land was available to those willing to farm, and the rumor spread that the soil and climate were perfect for crop farming and stock grazing. Davis liked what he saw, returned to St. Paul, and married his sweetheart, Almira Ridgeway. Together, they traveled west to the present townsite of Almira and set up a trading post and boarding house. The area grew and Charles Davis applied for a United States post office, calling it "Davisine." The arrival of the Central Washington Railway line sparked more interest in the community and fostered the need for a town with food and shelter for community residents and the men who worked on the railroad. Charles Davis and his wife, Almira Ridgeway Davis, opened the doors of their boarding house, accommodating as many men, women, and children as possible. Regional legend recounts that Almira Davis's "boarders appreciated her bountiful table. As they sat around the table discussing the formation of the proposed town with the railroad crew, one of them suggested that the new town be named after their hostess." After that, the village was called Almira in her honor.
From the NRHP Registration Form

Photo goes Here

Street address:
3 North Third Street
Almira, WA United States

County / Borough / Parish: Lincoln

Year listed: 2006

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Commerce, Architecture

Periods of significance: 1900-1924

Historic function: Domestic - Hotel

Current function: Domestic - Hotel

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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