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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One hundred years ago Ritzville was the largest single wheat shipping point in the entire United States and was known as the “Bread Basket of the World.” During the next fifty years, the downtown business area was bustling with activities, especially during harvest. In addition to being one of the most productive dry-land wheat producing areas of the country, Ritzville was, and still is, the county seat of Adams County.

It was after the Northern Pacific Railroad was completed through Adams County (then Whitman County) in 1881, that the first Volga German immigrants arrived by covered wagon and started taking homesteads in the surrounding area. By 1900 these Volga German immigrants and other settlers were engaging in business endeavors, many erecting fine brick buildings on Ritzville’s Main Street.

Local author Harland Eastwood has assembled a collection of 220 historic photographs that document this period of growth and prosperity. Each photo has a descriptive caption and date. The photos range from 1885 through 1960. Many of these photographs have never been published before and have been gleaned from both public and private photo collections. Welcome To Ritzville contains historic photos of the following:

  • First Adams County Courthouse
  • Shepley & Son
  • First Gritman Drugstore
  • Many early Ritzville residences
  • Early Ritzville Main Street views
  • White River Lumber
  • Ritzville Hotel
  • Ritzville Garage
  • Ritzville Round-Up
  • Ritzville Trading
  • Ritzville Library
  • Potlatch Lumber Yard
  • Ott Motor
  • Columbia Basin Motors
  • Ritz Theater
  • Dessert Hotel
  • Second Adams County Courthouse
  • Central school
  • Prominent commercial buildings
  • Lincoln School
  • Parades
  • First bank in Adams County
  • Early Ritzville churches
  • Street scenes
  • Ritzville Flouring Mill
  • Adams House Hotel
  • Horse shows
  • Adams County Fair
  • Bird’s Eye views

This work contains 200 pages and 220 historic photographs with descriptive captions.

Additional information


Hardcover, Softcover