Structure Type: built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - railroad stations

Designers: Reed and Stem, Architects (firm); Charles Aldrich Reed (architect); Allen H. Stem (architect)

Dates: constructed 1912

Chehalis, WA

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The Northern Pacific Railway came to Chehalis in 1873, as it extended its lines from Portland, OR, north through Kalama, WA, toward its terminus at Tacoma, WA. According to the Lewis County Historical Museum, early settlers of Chehalis hoped to entice the NP to pass through its city. "Residents of Saundersville built a warehouse to induce the Northern Pacific Railroad to build its line through Chehalis. The idea worked and Saundersville was renamed Chehalis in 1879." (See "About the Museum,"Accessed 12/16/2013.) While Chehalis was favored by the train's arrival, the neighboring town of Claquato, then the capital of Lewis County, was ignored; as a result, Claquato was stripped of its county seat, and the town withered shortly thereafter. This same scenario recurred again and again, whereby one town, helpful to the Northern Pacific's expansion, was rewarded, while rival towns, less amenable, disappeared due to the lack of commerce brought by the railroad.

The Spanish Colonial Revival design of this station resembled others produced by the Saint Paul-based firm of Reed and Stem contemporaneously in WA State, such as Ellensburg (1910) and Toppenish (1911).

PCAD id: 18910