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Throwback Thursday
Vintage Postcards Give Glimpse Into Chehalis's Past

The St. Helens Hotel, one of Chehalis' most enduring landmarks, was prominently featured in a series of now-historic postcards that showcased locations in and around Chehalis.



In an age in which social media, an always-on Internet connection and cell phones have virtually replaced written communication and hand-developed photos for many, there's no denying the allure of small picturesque glimpses into the scene of a town on paper one can hold in their hand.

Local resident Zella Honeyford has amassed a collection of local postcards in great condition and has collected digital scans of those cards, using modern technology to preserve images that will someday fade and crack. Kept in wonderful condition, these postcards show Chehalis either through hand-drawn art, meticulous photography or in some cases both. What results is a unique look into not just what the town looked like some time ago, but also a glimpse into the way of life at those specific moments.

On this Throwback Thursday, we're proud to be able to share some of these postcards for a neat look into our region's history from as far back as a decade ago. See if you can remember and point out where some of these buildings and places resided on a current map!

Chehalis Avenue was once the commercial and cultural center of the city of Chehalis, long before Market Boulevard became the center of town. This postcard is undated.


The interiors of several buildings in Chehalis held some impressive architectural detail. Seen here is the inside of the old Chehalis National Bank.


The famous McKinley Stump, where President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in 1903, was a focal point of this holiday postcard. A replica of the stump now stands outside the Lewis County Historical Museum.


This undated postcard shows just how prominent the old Greyhound Lines bus depot was to travelers. It sat right along Market Boulevard, which carried the historic Pacific Highway through town.


This postcard surely predates Interstate 5, as Dowling's Glass House just off 13th Street in Chehalis was a local landmark for travelers along U.S. Highway 99.


Want to see more postcards and local memorabilia? The Lewis County Historical Museum is a treasure trove of fascinating local history. The museum, located at 599 NW Front St. in Chehalis, contains a vast repository of images and more that are worth seeing and learning about!

Visit the museum’s website or their Facebook page to find out more about all they have to offer.

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