History of Kennewick 1931-1938

June 13, 2012 

Final installment of the History of Kennewick by Mrs. R.E. Reed, first published in the Tri-City Herald on February 19, 1950


The state bought the bridge and removed the toll.

Our new street lights were installed.

Mr. Mercy purchased our theatre as well as several others in the valley.


Mr. Reese started a pipe factory to manufacture concrete products.

In April, Paul Spreen built the building now occupied by the Creamery. The idea of a cannery was again brought to the front. Tomatoes were considered as a possible crop to be canned, as well as asparagus.


Our grape juice was sold out at the Chicago Fair.

We shipped our first car of tomatoes. These were wrapped and shipped in 28-lb bags.

F. A. Visger purchased the drug store from C. E. King.

Mr. Silliman bought C. C. Williams' interest in the Farmers' Exchange.


The cannery opened April 21, with W. S. Green as president; H. A Linn, Vice President; A. J. Brownell, manager. Asparagus, beans and tomatoes were canned.

On Oct. 5, the Kennewick Athletic Field was dedicated.

The Big Y employed 100 with a payroll of $2,000 a week.


Construction of the new high school building was started. Later in the year the cornerstone was laid with the Masonic Grand Lodge officers conducting the ceremony.

A new game farm was located south of town.

Gene Spaulding took over Plowman's Cafe and changed the name to Arrow Grill.

We planned a three-day celebration for the Fourth of July. This included the rodeo. During the celebration and the week preceding the men of the town were asked to wear cowboy attire.

Fifty thousand cases of tomatoes were canned at the cannery, requiring the services of 100 employees.


The fire department was reorganized and Carol Pratt was chosen the fire chief.

W. S. Washburn purchased the Variety store from Mrs. Beasley.

The Commercial Hotel was sold to Mr. Durocher, the flour mill to a Spokane man, Chas. Shoemaker.

Seventy-five hundred pheasants were cared for at the game farm and 4,884 birds set at liberty.

A. F. Brown built a new store building to be occupied by the Red & White Store, adjacent to his building on the corner of Kennewick Avenue and Benton Street.

The school bought a large bus.

Plans were made to have the bridge built across the Columbia.

The mill again changed hands. This time the purchase was made by the Pillsbury company,

L. H. Raymond built a new building for his plumbing shop.

The dam at Umatilla is to be the next step in river projects.


Early in the year the flour mill burned.

Kennewick received $26,120 — a WPA allotment — to build a new golf course.

The 49th semi-annual convention of the Yakima Valley District Federation of Womans' Clubs was held in Kennewick April 29.

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