The small eastern Washington wheat town of Ritzville is rich in agriculture and history.  Early settlers included immigrants from Scotland, Germany, and Russia.  There are a variety of groups and individuals who have worked hard in preserving this history.  A significant part of the history can be found in the photographic collections of the area.  Some of the most outstanding photographic examples from these sources will be found on the pages of this work.  Those who have contributed to this project include the Adams County Historical Society, Ritzville Depot Historical Museum, Dr. Frank H. Burroughs House Museum, Ritzville Public Library, Thelma Koch Sprenger photo collection, Bert Kendrick Photo Collection, Roy Gilson Scrapbook, Jeanne (Benzel) Englund, Linda Kubik, Terry and Ann (Oestreich) Olson, Pete Oestreich, Barbara Schwisow, David, and Barbara Steinmetz, Lamar Thiel, Gerry Schoesler, Bill Danekas, Lindsey Lefevre, Tom Kadlec, Judy Treadwell Paschen, Leah Griffith, Janet Walthew, Barry Heimbigner, Chuck, and Faye Schmidt, Lucille (Danekas) Telecky, Dorothy Eckhardt, and the author.  Many of these photographs will be new to readers of the Discover Ritzville series and have never been published before.  It is hoped that they will provide many hours of enjoyment and give the reader a better understanding of our rich and unique history.


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After nearly ten years of planning, the Columbia Basin Highway finally opened through Ritzville in 1939. This highway was later known as US-10, and today as I-90. This cross-state highway brought numerous business opportunities to area residents and entrepreneurs. One of the most prolific business upstarts was the service station. This was in an era when the cleanliness of your restrooms or your selection of automotive accessories might make the difference between making a sale or seeing a potential customer pull into the gas station across the street or on either side of you.  Reports of a gas station on every corner still flourish among the older generation.

Other business opportunities included café’s, restaurants, roadside diners, hotels, motels, auto courts, tires stores and others. A great collection of historic and nostalgic photos have been assembled to depict these businesses and more. They will provide the reader with a pictorial overview of one of Ritzville’s most interesting periods of growth and history.

Some of the historic photos depicted in this work include:

  • German American State Bank
  • New Ritz Theater
  • Circle T Inn
  • Ritzville Auto Park
  • Dessert Hotel
  • Ritzville High School
  • Whisperin’ Palms Cafe
  • Ritzville Hotel
  • Ritzville Library
  • Ritzville Pastime
  • Star Hotel
  • Windsor Hotel
  • Top Hat Motel
  • Womack Hotel
  • West Side Motel
  • Colwell Motel
  • Cottage Motel
  • Tiller’s Cabins
  • Ritzville Ag Shop
  • Richfield gas station
  • Washington Chief gas station
  • Walenta Shell gas station
  • Warsinske gas Station
  • Streeter’s Standard Station
  • Oasis Oil & Gas Station
  • Standard Tire & Service Station
  • Milner’s Texaco Station
  • Treadwell’s Shell Station & Restaurant
  • Ward’s Super Service
  • Lightel’s Standard Station
  • Bruno’s Union Station
  • Red Star Texaco Station
  • McFarland’s Conoco Station
  • Economy Station
  • Associated (Flying “A”) gas station
  • Mobil gas station
  • Utoco Service Station
  • Oil distributors and bulk plants
  • Ritzville Ice & Creamery
  • Parades
  • Benzel Ford Sales
  • Rehn Motor Company
  • Chris Rieker Buick Agency
  • Ott & Zander Chevrolet
  • Hoefel Ford
  • Ritzville Garage
  • Columbia Basin Motors
  • Rogel Motor Company
  • Hand’s Café
  • Lan’s Café
  • Womack’s Café
  • Harris Bros. Livery & Feed
  • Adams County Fair
  • Ritzville Flouring Mills
  • Main Street views
  • Ritzville parades
  • Lee Block
  • Gilson Building
  • Ritzville State Bank
  • Rosenoff & Co Druggists
  • Thiel’s Cigar Shop
  • Ritzville Trading Company
  • Myers & Shepley

And many other historic photos.

Additional information


Hardcover, Softcover