Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I don’t know what triggered this, but is there someone who can identify the oldest building in Omak that is still in use?
It may have changed functions several times, and a number have up and been moved to new locations.
But is there an “oldest building” still working?
One of those which has moved is the one which now houses The Breadline Cafe at the corner of First Avenue and Ash Street.
It began life at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue and was later transplanted. Originally it was the school.
Another transplant: The frame house which housed The Chronicle on Main Street to a new location on Dewberry Avenue, where it works today as a rooming house.
The predecessor of Gene’s was a frame building, which was transferred up to the flat above town, and a little white house that once housed Rosettie’s (corner of Main Street and Apple Avenue) also was moved, though I am not sure where it went.
The old Emert house, which sheltered Frank and Edna and their six girls and a boy who gave his life in World War II when his plane was shot down, was moved up into a neighborhood on the flat, where it still serves as a dwelling.
Surely this is not all of them, though it is all I know about.
But back to my original question: Was any of these a “first” among Omak’s buildings?
The people who backed and paid for the replacements of the originals all are gone now, but surely there are people who had relatives who could recall the earlier days.
One of the interesting things about looking up old photographs is to note the tree growth over even a few years. The buildings may not have changed a lot, but trees do.
And change in architectural styles can betray a building’s century of origin.
A great many of the early day structures were built to get ‘em up and are of simple design.
Others went in for more elaborate (read: expensive) design.
But they all have their tale to tell, and what came first is a large part of that tale.
If, therefore, you or your family can identify any of the first to be built here, drop me a line at The Chronicle, P.O. Box 553, Omak 98841, and add your knowledge to that of the rest of us.
Elizabeth Widel is a columnist for The Chronicle. This is the 2,872nd column in a series. She may be reached at 509-826-1110.