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Could the town be a national historical site?

State official will speak next week on what that would mean


Coulee Dam's Town Hall was once the administration building for the Grand Coulee Dam Project, and will be the site of a talk on the possibilities for designating the town, or part of it, as a national historic site.

A state official will give a public talk in Coulee Dam next week, where he will also speak with town officials about the possibility of designating parts of town as a historical site.

Michael Houser, from the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, will speak at a Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the town hall Dec. 10. The event is open to the public. The price for the catered lunch will be $10; and those wishing to attend the Thursday lunch must call the chamber at 633-3074 by Wednesday, Dec. 9.

While in town, Houser will meet with the town of Coulee Dam's Natural and Historical Resources Board to discuss thr possibilities of designating part or all of the town as a national historic site.

Town Councilmember Gayle Swagerty has raised the idea and asked that Houser come speak and meet with the board to get an understanding of how places get designated for the National Register of Historic Places.

The west part of the town was constructed in 1934 and, at the time, was called "Engineer's Town." It was where engineers on the Grand Coulee Dam project lived. For several years, the federal government took care of the town.

Places in west Coulee Dam that have been well preserved by the owners include Columbia School, now the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union; Town Hall, which housed the project administration in the early days; and both the dormitories for men and women, now housing the Four Winds Guest House and the hospital's facility for visiting medical personnel, called St. Rita's. None are currently on the national registry.

The chamber of commerce is also interested in some kind of designation for the old B Street in Grand Coulee. In the early days, B Street was the site of much commerce, including saloons and questionable businesses.

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