Historic Sites

Claquato Church, Off Stearns Road, Claquato
Built in 1858, it is cited as the last of all the early churches of Washington Territory to remain standing. It hosted services until the 1930s, but soon became vacant and was vandalized over the years. The American Legion Post 22 restored the church in 1953 and it has since been rededicated as a memorial to the early pioneers of Lewis County.

John R. Jackson House - Jackson Court House, Mary’s Corner
Tidbit of trivial knowledge: The John R. Jackson House was Washington’s first-ever state park. Mr. Jackson worked a variety of trades, including innkeeper, justice of the peace and representative to the territorial legislature — but what made his home special was the First U.S. District Court held north of the Columbia River convened at Jackson’s home in November 1850.

Burlington Northern Depot, Chehalis
The depot, completed in 1912, served a major railroad corridor that brought passengers and freight through Chehalis and Centralia. It’s a consistent reminder of the role railroads played in the formation of both cities, and was a centerpiece of the business district of Chehalis. President Theodore Roosevelt also spoke from a stump near the site of the depot in 1903.

Mineral Log Lodge, Hill Road, Mineral
This building has a colorful history, first being opened in 1906 as a wilderness retreat for rich people from Seattle and Tacoma. It changed ownership in the 1920s and became a sanatorium, then later became a hunting and camping lodge. Business and political meetings were held there in the 1940s, and guests included several prominent politicians from around the state.

OB McFadden House, 1639 Chehalis Ave, Chehalis
Obadiah B. McFadden was appointed by President Franklin Pierce in 1853 to the Supreme Court of Oregon Territory. Although only some elements of his home, which was a one and a half-story log building built in 1859, remain, the site on which it stood is preserved in the National Register of Historic Places.

Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church, Third and Queen, Pe Ell
It has since been demolished due to disrepair, but the only Polish National Catholic Church congregation for miles around met in Pe Ell for years. The PNCC, which most notably replaced the Latin liturgy with Polish, built their church in 1916. The building contained a vaulted ceiling, notable altarpieces and a historic organ.

Ben Olsen House, South end of D Street, Vader
Constructed in 1913 and home to a prominent businessman who helped put the then-named town of Little Falls on the map, the Ben Olsen House is one of few structures in and around Vader remaining from the early 1900s. It has been restored and sits west of the town proper.

Joseph Borst House, 302 Bryden Avenue, Centralia
Standing along the banks of the Chehalis River since 1857, the Borst House was home to Joseph and Mary Borst, two influential settlers of the region. The home was part of a significant land claim, 100 acres of which was later deeded by Allen Borst to the City of Centralia for the creation of Borst Park. Today the house is available for tours; call the Centralia Parks Department for details.

Boistfort High School, 983 Boistfort Road, Curtis
Boistfort High School lays claim to being one of only two rural high schools in Lewis County in 1918, when it was built. It was the leading educational facility in the valley for years, serving several districts that had been consolidated. The school closed in the 1970s, but boasts a notable graduate in none other than Scott Crossfield, an Air Force test pilot who became the first person to break Mach 2 in flight.

Olympic Club Saloon, 112 North Tower, Centralia
The Olympic Club was built in 1913 and has stood as a community landmark and meeting place for more than a century. Built in the Art Nouveau style, several nods to the past are referenced, including a sign indicating a ban on female patronage. A close look at the decor shows the building still standing out from several neighboring buildings in downtown Centralia.

O.K. Palmer House, 673 NW Pennsylvania, Chehalis
Osmer K. Palmer was a prominent Chehalis businessman who owned Palmer Manufacturing Company, responsible for a “large portion of the millwork,” according to reports, of the Chehalis region. His home, built in the American Foursquare style, is one of many historic homes along the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor and evokes visions of an era long past.

George E. Birge House, 715 E Street, Centralia
Built in 1890 and now a private residence, the George E. Birge House is cited as an excellent example of Queen Anne residential architecture in a small city. Birge was a well-known local businessman who also served two terms as Centralia mayor and one as a city councilman. In its early days, the home was associated with several prominent businesspeople.

Centralia Union Depot, 210 Railroad St, Centralia
Perhaps the de facto railroad hub in Lewis County after its construction in 1912, the Centralia Union Depot served 44 passenger trains and 17 freight trains daily in its heyday. It was considered one of the major rail terminals in the region, and today serves passengers via Amtrak service. The building still retains much of its original look.

St. Helens Hotel, 440 N Market Blvd, Chehalis
The St. Helens Hotel is the tallest building in Chehalis, built over four years from 1917 to 1921. It is cited as having played a pivotal role in making the surrounding area Chehalis’ commercial center. The hotel also enjoyed success as a result of the Pacific Highway utilizing nearby streets, and helped bring big numbers of tourists and business travelers straight through the heart of Chehalis. Today it is largely used as commercial space and apartments.

Pennsylvania Avenue - West Side Historic District, 600 NW St. Helens, 440-723 Penna Ave, Chehalis
A three-block stretch of the Historic West Side neighborhood in Chehalis has been placed on the National Register due to being home to a wide range of historic houses. Many of those houses are Victorian and post-Victorian in style, and they are well-preserved as a whole. Many early prominent and influential Chehalins lived in this neighborhood.

Wesley Everest Gravesite, 1905 Johnson Rd, Centralia
Characterized as the symbol of problems with labor in the Pacific Northwest, Everest was part of a group that in 1919 engaged in shooting between members of the American Legion on a parade through downtown Centralia during the Armistice Day Riot. He fled and was captured, removed from jail and hanged from a nearby bridge. His grave is located adjacent to Greenwood Memorial Cemetery along Reynolds Road in Centralia.

The Sentinel, Washington Park, Centralia
The Sentinel was erected in remembrance of four Legionnaires killed in the Armistice Day Riot of 1919. Bearing the resemblance to a soldier in the World War I era, the monument looks out from Washington Park over Pearl Street in Centralia in a prominent location. The statue itself is the only part of the park nominated for inclusion in the National Register.

Hillside Historic District, Chehalis
A total of 141 homes and properties make up the Hillside Historic District, which were all built in dates ranging from 1890 to 1930. Most of the houses reflect the Craftsman style of construction, but others were built in Queen Anne, Tudor, American Foursquare and more. Many of the homes are along Washington and Adams avenues just south of downtown Chehalis.

Chehalis Downtown Historic District, Chehalis
Downtown Chehalis, centered on North Market Boulevard and Northeast Boistfort Street, contains mainly 19th-century commercial-style buildings. Many of these buildings are included as part of the Historic Chehalis Walking Tour, and documentation provided on that tour gives a detailed history of each of the afore-mentioned structures.

Hubbard Bungalow, 717 N Washington Ave, Centralia
It’s a continuing theme: another home owned by a prominent businessman who was a local lumber baron. Francis B. Hubbard called the property at 717 N. Washington Ave. home after it was built in 1908. In an interesting note, Hubbard’s business suffered from the labor strike of 1917, which is regarded as a key event in the build-up to the Armistice Day Riot two years later.

Packwood Lake Guard Cabin, Packwood Lake
Packwood Lake was once considered for an electricity project, and the cabin was built in 1910 by people working for Valley Development Company. The U.S. Forest Service assumed control in 1917 and became a seasonal administrative post for the Forest Service. It is accessible today and represents an architectural style used commonly in that era.

US Post Office, Centralia
This post office was built in 1937 and contains a mural called “Industries of Lewis County” by Kenneth Callahan, indicative of social history and artistic expression of that era. The Post Office today appears much as it did when it was built, save for some interior updates.

US Post Office, Chehalis
Notable in that it’s much larger than the Centralia post office despite the city having half the population, the Chehalis Post Office opened in 1934 and remains largely unaltered save for interior updates.

Ohanapecosh Comfort Stations O-302 and O-303
Two restroom facilities, both designated O-302 and O-303, at the Ohanapecosh area, go by the less unsavory terms of “Comfort stations.” Built in the 1930s, the structures at Ohanapecosh Campground, both the men’s and women’s restrooms, were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Randle Ranger Station - Work Center, Randle
The entirety of the Randle Ranger Station and Work Center, belonging to the U.S. Forest Service, serves as the Cowlitz Ranger District headquarters of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The buildings were built between 1935 and 1936 by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps and signify the help brought to local communities by the program during the Great Depression.

Centralia Downtown Historic District
Several shops and restaurants in downtown Centralia comprise a district that is the cultural soul of Lewis County. Downtown Centralia is an excellent spot to stop and shop or take a walk, but ask some of the building owners about their history — you may be surprised at what you find!

Grace Evangelical Church of Vader, 618 D St., Vader
One of two Vader-area structures on the National Register, Grace Evangelical Church of Vader traces its roots to 1891, but the church itself wasn’t built until 1902. With the town’s growth, the church thrived and remained a spiritual mainstay of the community. Although the town’s population has dwindled to about 500, the church itself maintains an active congregation.

Scout Lodge, 278 SE Adams Ave, Chehalis
Scout Lodge was built as part of a New Deal program for citywide park improvements in 1937. Part of a $47,000 allotment went to pay for the construction of the lodge for recreation for Boy Scouts and members of the public. It once hosted an Assembly of God church congregation for nine years as well. Today it is maintained by the Chehalis Parks Department and help from volunteers.

Lewis County Courthouse, 351 NW North St, Chehalis
Lewis County’s newest addition to the National Register is the Historic Courthouse in Chehalis. The building housed district and superior courts and all county government functions from 1927 to 1954. The courthouse was built in the Beaux Arts architectural style — commonly known as a symbol of corporate wealth and civic pride — and serves as one of the best examples of that construction in the state.


Places to stay nearby

Chehalis River Cabin

Doty/Dryad, West
Starting at: $125.00

Rainbow Falls State Park

Doty/Dryad, West, Adna, Pe Ell, Boistfort
Starting at: $27.00

Places to eat nearby

Jones Creek Brewing

173 Beam Road Chehalis, WA 98532

(360) 245-3429
See website

Sweet Chehalis

1133 State Route 6
Adna, WA
(360) 840-5229

Evey's Cafe

416 N. Main St.,
Pe Ell, WA 98572
(360) 291-9902

Pe Ell Pub

205 N. Main St.,
Pe Ell, WA 98572
(360) 291-2707

Coffee Outfitters

108 Bunker Creek Road,
Adna, WA
(360) 748-9100

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