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Old Columbia City: City Hall

This photo was taken about 1905 looking North along Rainier Avenue from Hudson Street. The building on the left housed the equipment for the volunteer fire department that included a water pump cart and a hose reel cart. 

The adjoining building with the copula roof is the town hall, one of Columbia City’s first buildings. It was built in 1891 just south of Hudson Street and then moved to this sight just north of Hudson Street. 

The building costs were covered by private subscriptions from the pioneers that bought the first lots in Columbia.  This is where they set up their town government. They incorporated the town in 1893, electing a Mayor, Marshall and the Town Council. One of their first ordinances banned saloons in the town.

The first school classes met in this town hall while Columbia School was being built. The children moved into the first floor of the school while the second floor was still under construction in 1892. A Sunday School was also started in the town hall and almost all the residents participated. 

The town of Columbia was annexed by Seattle in 1907 and the Town Hall building then had other uses including the Seattle Public Library in 1911 and the City Light office in the‘20s. 

The cement building currently on the site was built for the Seattle police department, precinct 5, in the ‘30's. When the precinct relocated to have more space, it became a public health facility.

 That original town hall building still exists today as a duplex, one block west on the south side of Hudson street. It now has a conventional shaped roof.

The next building on the left was a pool room and barbershop that exists today as Angies Tavern. On the right of Rainier Avenue is Guy Dickie’s “Columbia Hardware and Tinsmith Shop”, and “McKenzie’s Plumbing.”     


Days Gone By 

South District Journal 8/26/1998

By Buzz Anderson


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