The front of the "Chard Building" as it's currently known as seen during early 2021.
Historic District Downtown Building Inventory
Stevenson Hardware/Chard Building (Site ID 14)
Built for John R. Stevenson for use as a hardware store, this building has been remodeled several times. Stevenson moved to Pomeroy in 1891 to take over management of a hardware store. He started his own business in the late 1890s and in 1905, erected this building to house his store. (Between 1901 and 1905, Stevenson had his hardware store across the street in the Seeley Block.) Around 1922, Stevenson sold the building to The Farmers National Bank who remodeled the structure with professional offices on the upper floor, and a bank and the hardware store on the lower floor. Stevenson, a state senator and mayor of Pomeroy, died in 1928 of heart failure.
By 1930, Stevenson's Hardware had been liquidated and the bank closed. [closure according to Donovan. see DML below of 1930 and story on notes issued.] The U.S. Post Office moved into the entire first floor. By the 1950s, the post office, a cafe, and insurance agency occupied the lower floor. In April, 1954, a fire damaged the first floor of the building that was then known as the Henry L. Chard Building. The building was rebuilt after the fire, and in 1961, the post office moved into a new facility (#36) on Main Street, and the Chard Building was remodeled for use as a bank and restaurant.
The initial bank was the National Bank of Commerce which moved here from its location across the street. NBofC's name was changed to Rainier Bank in 1974. 18 Years later, following several mergers and acquisitions, the Pomeroy branch was sold to KeyBank.
Mearns Gates opened Gates Insurance in the center ground commercial space prior to 1958. As of 2020, that business was still being run by John Gates. Ilene's Beauty Shop was located in the western part of the building during the late 1960's.
Joe and Alynda Benson purchased the building in 1998 and opened a Historical Museum in the western most street level commercial space and a Gift Shop in the eastern spot.
The professional offices on the second floor have been occupied by dentists, doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, and others. The last business on the second floor was a small print shop run by Bonnie Zeliff during the early 2010's.
The Stevenson Hardware Building, commonly known as the Chard Building, is a two-story structure constructed of brick. The building has a flat roof, wide stucco parapet with ghost signs that say "Farmers National Bank" on the west and south elevations, a metal clad corbeled stringcourse above the second story windows, one-over-one double-hung metal sash and single-pane windows, raised pilasters separating the bays, a brick soldier course between the bays above the first story windows, and a concrete foundation. A concrete stairway leading to the second story has been added to the rear (north) elevation. Alterations indude replacement of the wood windows with metal sash, removal of the upper portion of the cornice, and alterations of the two front storefronts (1954 remodel).
Based on research by Donovan & Associates.
Stevenson's Hardware Building on the right, 1908
J. R. Stevenson Hardware
(Courtesy of the Garfield County Museum)
Mrs Mike Buckley purchased barbed wire from Stevenson Hardware in 1905
From a 1914, issue of the East Washingtonian
Clean up with this "Laundry Queen", April, 1919
Retrofit your farmhouse with this "Round Oak Pipeless Furnace" in 1920
In October, 1922, J R Stevenson was selling Furnaces to Go!
A wide range of supplies was available
The "Heatrola" was apparently still a big seller for Stevenson's in 1924
Farmers National Bank of Pomeroy
Did you know this Pomeroy bank issued real paper money? Here's some information, courtesy of antiquebanknotes.com
The Farmers National Bank of Pomeroy, charter number 11416, was granted a charter in 1919. The bank issued 4 types of notes as shown below. This is scarcely known bank or a desirable state and the note might be valuable. Washington is a very desirable state for nationals ranking as the 24th state for rarity in nationals. This bank only issued notes under one title.
The Farmers National Bank of Pomeroy Washington Charter 11416 issued the following types of bills: 1902 $10 Ten Dollar Bill, 1902 $20 Twenty Dollar Bill, 1929 $10 Ten Dollar Bill, and the 1929 $20 Twenty Dollar Bill
From #55 in a series of postcards. Sometime in the 1920s.
Patriotism was fine in 1920 advertisements.
The second 20 per cent dividend will be made by the Farmers National Bank to depositors on Friday, which will release about $26,000.
-- "Down Memory Lane" of April 25, 1957, looking back to 1932
In the distance, you can see the western portion of the Farmer's National bank Building. This was probably after they had closed.
This is not Pomeroy, but it was in the East Washingtonian in June, 1924, and there's a Chard connection. Women Tramps? (Ayer is, or was, on the Snake about 3 miles west of where Hwy 261 crosses the river at Lyons Ferry.) [I'm probably the only one who had to look up where Ayer was.]
Gates Insurance in the Chard Building. He was there until 2017. And although John has retired, the historic sign was still there as of 2020.
from the 1953 Dayton, Pomeroy, Waitsburg Telephone Directory
An undated advertisement from a Pomeroy High School The Harvest
Gates Insurance, October 1970
Gates Insurance advertisement from the December 24, 1971, E-W.
A bit wrinkled, but Merry Christmas in 1981 from all the Gates!
Pomeroy Post Office
News of 1931 from the East Washingtonian "Down Memory Lane" of August 16, 1956.
Miss Marguerite Burlingame, assistant in the Pomeroy postoffice, and Miss margaret Darby, night supervisor of nurses in a Portland hospital, have been having a pleasant vacation in Yellowstone park, traveling in Miss Burlingame's car.
Postmaster C. E. Rathbun's mother, Mrs W.P. Rathbun, died Saturday night at the family home in Lacrosse.
-- Down Memory Lane of March 20, 1958, looking back at 1933
Important news as seen in the November 14, 1935, East Washingtonian:
Junior Chard, son of Postmaster and Mrs. Chard, had his tonsils removed last Friday. Ruby Snodderly had her tonsils taken out Wednesday.
Seen in the Down Memory Lane column of January 24, 1957, looking back at 1947:
The total amount of revenue collected from the sale of postage stamps, postoffice box rents, at the Pomeroy postoffice totaled $15,460.33 for the year 1946.
An article in the February 28, 1957, paper warned of possible coming cuts to postal service here:
Question of Mail Service By Bus Being Pondered
Mail delivery by Greyhound bus may be discontinued according to a letter received recently from the postoffice department by Postmaster Ronald Chard.
The service has been in addition to the highway postoffice and the mail comes in on the bus that arrives in Pomeroy at 11 a. m. from Walla Walla.
The postmaster said that usually very little mail is received for the local postoffice on the bus and it seems as though discontinuance would make little difference in the mail service to the residents of the county.
The contract now held by the Greyhound lines for carrying mail expires March 20 and the company indicates that if it signs another contract a substantial increase in rates would be needed.
The postoffice department is now pondering the question of whether the service is worth the money it would have to pay.
The next month (March 21, 1957) Pomeranians heard the good news from the P.O. Department:
P.O. To Continue Bus Line Service
Mail will continue to be delivered to Pomeroy by Greyhound bus, Postmaster Ronad Chard said this week.
There was talk of discontinuing the service which is in addition to the highway postoffice service. However, the post office department signed another contract last week with the bus line.
The service will be the same as before. The bus, each day will pick up mail at Walla Walla that didn't arrive in time for the postal truck and deliver it to Dayton, Waitsburg tod Pomeroy. The delivery will continue to include letters, other first class mail, newspapers and all classes of airmail, but no packages. The bus is scheduled to arrive in Pomeroy at 10:50 a. m. each morning.
The year contract was signed for $1,006.50 a somewhat higher figure than previous. The post office pondered the question of whether the service was worth that amount or should be discontinued, before they signed the new contract.
The January 2, 1958, issue of the East Washingtonian had a front page article informing county residents that their addresses might be changing.
Just a bit of the story. Click the link for the whole article.
We read in a front page article from the July 21, 1960, issue of the East Washingtonian:
Open House Observes Issue Of New Stamp
"Open House" at the Pomeroy post office Wednesday, July 20, [1960,] brought to light some interesting figures. Pomeroy postoffice was established May 8, 1872, and was at that time part of Walla Walla county, Ulysses S. Grant was president of the United States and Joseph M. Pomeroy was appointed the local postmaster.
The office was officially discontinued Oct. 29, 1873, and re-established March 6, 1874, with Angevine Favor, postmaster. By act of the territorial legislature Nov. 11, 1875, this area was included in the new county of Columbia, and in Nov. 1881, Garfield county was organized, so Pomeroy has! been a postoffice in three counties, and is at present the only postrffice in Garfield county.
In the interval of 88 years Pomeroy had only 18 postmasters showing a very small turnover as compared with some communities.
Ronald L. Chard became acting postmaster Sept. 1, 1934 and was officially confirmed May 13, 1935. In that time he has sold more than 300 varities of stamps, including "regular issues," commemorative stamps and air mails. Also Pomeroy has had postage dues, special deliveries, registration, certified mail, postal notes and besides postage stamps, the postoffice deals in that very popular item called "duck stamps."
The open house was occasioned by the release of a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the "Pony Express."
First at the stamp window to buy the new issue was veteran stamp collector, Mrs. E. C. Lyle. Besides being a general collector, Mrs. Lyle has a special album devoted to "Horses on Stamps." Postmaster Chard autographed a block of stamps for the horse collection which was the twenty-fifth item in horses on United States stamps in Mrs. Lyle's collection.
National Bank of Commerce
Typically ugly advertisement from Rainier Bank, December, 1980.
2nd Floor Offices
'Professional Cards' from the classifieds of the East Washingtonian, summer, 1924.
Dr. Clark wasn't in the Bank Building, he was next door on the other side of the Pomeroy Hotel. I kept him here because I'm intrigued by a "drugless physician."
The EW informed us in August, 1957, that we were getting another doctor:
Pomeroy to Have Another Doctor
Dr. Walter H. Herron is coming to Pomeroy and will be associated in the practice of medicine with Dr. R. J. Weiland.
Dr. Herron for the past two years has had a medical practice on Mercer Island near Seattle. Prior to that time he served in the air force during the Korean war. Before going in the service he had a practice for a short time at Holden, Washington.
The doctor is married and the couple have an eight-year-old boy. They are members of the Episcopal church. Dr. Herron is a native of the state of Nebraska and she of Washington, her home being in Tacoma.
He plans to begin his practice with Dr. Weiland in the post-office building on September 1. Weiland was formerly in partnership with Dr. Robert Bond who recently moved to Walla Walla to start a practice there.
During much of the 80's, some of the offices on the second floor were occupied by Pomeroy Chiropractic.
The western corner of the Chard Building during 1958, with the Post Office.
Ilene's Beauty Shop
An advertisement from 1968, Ilene's was located in the western part of the Chard Building
Not sure if Ilene's was closed for a bit or a while, but the space was occupied by the Democrats prior to the 1968 Presidential election