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Catalog Number WF 1716.002
Caption Washington Natural Gas - Port Townsend, WA
Description On April 30, 1931, the dedication of the Washington Natural Gas Plant was held at 23rd and S Avenue. This structure was a stock building plan used by Washington Natural Gas for their facilities. The building pictured still stands in Port Townsend, directly west of the current ferry landing for the Port Townsend-Keystone ferry. The brick building, complete with terra cotta tiles and the medallion sign inscribed with "Washington Natural Gas", sits beneath the large bluff.

Washington Natural Gas (WNG) began its efforts to obtain a "gas franchise" in Anacortes in 1930. The 9-18-1930 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported, "Gas franchise still unsettled," as the Anacortes City Council weighed the company's request, a deliberation that seemed to take most of the autumn. The 12-4-1930 issue reported the WNG plant would be erected at 23rd and S Avenue; see also the 12-11-1930 issue. Anacortes would be one of the first towns selected by the company for the installation of gas service. On 1-19 or 29-1937 the paper reported the Gas Company's main office would be at 705 Commercial. Throughout the winter the company laid gas lines and, finally, in April, erected this plant building. The dedication of the plant building and the first "turning-on" of gas were a big event for Anacortes, particularly during the doldrums of the Great Depression. The new and "modern" source of power boosted civic pride and seemed an omen for a turn-around of Anacortes' industrial and economic woes during those years. The 4-30-1931 paper led with a full front-page story on the grand opening of the service with the boldface headline, "WILL TURN ON GAS THURSDAY." By that point, 75,000 feet of transmission main had been installed, 53,000 feet of services, and 800 locals were planned to hook up. On April 30, 1931, the Anacortes High School Band led a parade from the company's downtown offices to the plant. Following speeches by dignitaries including Mayor Van Buren (see WF 1205), the Chamber of Commerce, Women's Club, the School Superintendent, and the president of the gas company A. E. Strong, Mayor E. E. Van Buren turned on the gas and it flowed through the mains; see the 5-7-1931 paper. The building no longer stands.

This color photo of the Washington Natural Gas building in Port Townsend was taken 3-23-2003 by Theresa Trebon. Water Street runs to the right of the building, near the trees.
Date 2003, March 23
Photographer TREBON, Theresa
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place - Port Townsend, WA
Structure - Business
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Port Townsend, WA
Search Terms Washington Natural Gas Company
Plant
WNG
Water tower
Morrison Mill Complex
Brick building
Anacortes High School
band
Dedication ceremony
Medallion
Great Depression
Port Townsend
Port Townsend-Keystone ferry landing
Object Name Print, Photographic