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On the Corner — the Legacy of 2nd and Main

April 5, 2012

By Susan Monahan:

Sometimes changes to buildings result in the loss of distinctive features; sometimes the additions add interest and give the building character it lacked.

I often ask friends to share their memories of Walla Walla buildings and sometimes ask for ideas of what building to write about. Diane suggested the one at the corner of Main and 2nd, “the one with all that decorative stuff all over it.” She had an ulterior motive, Diane did; she had a fond 1960s memory involving hot chocolate–with a scoop of ice cream in it–served in that very building, and couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant operating from there. Number Two West Main houses the Paul Richardson Agency now and it has a very business-like look to it. I was intrigued by what changes it had been through over the years. My research told me that the corner building was part of the Quinn Building (which I wrote about last month.) It was occupied in 1876 by Marum and Doheny’s Dry Goods Store, who advertised “All Goods Marked in Plain Figures”, but “sold exclusively for cash.” When the dry goods store moved in 1901, Tallman’s Drugs moved in and stayed there until 1912 when they moved their pharmacy to a bigger space next door. Up to the Times Magazine wrote a feature on 2 West Main’s 1912 occupant in its Progress Notes:

onthecorner 300x200“The Third National Bank of Walla Walla has purchased the Quinn property at Second and Main Streets….The property has a frontage on Main Street of 53 feet. It is reported that the purchase price was $1,200 per front foot. The Third National Bank will occupy its new quarters sometime during the new year”.