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Street Scene: A Gray Day in Walla Walla, Washington

The City of Walla Walla, Washington, is located 250-miles inland of the City of Vancouver which is due north of Portland, Oregon and close to the West Coast. We travel there today for a pre-Christmas view of two images dated as being shot early in December of 1955.

The area included in the lead photo is a part of a block of East Alder Street Street located between South 1st and 2nd Streets; an Oldsmobile sedan is passing by, and the Punch Garage is visible. The Garage appears to be a general service outlet that sold Mobil gasoline, oils, and lubricants.

The second enlargeable picture below includes a view of the intersection of South 1st Street looking west on Alden Street; a Hudson sedan is passing by and a Buick sedan waiting at the light. Tell us what you find of interest in this set of photographs by Bill Lilley courtesy of Bygone Walla Walla.

18 responses to “Street Scene: A Gray Day in Walla Walla, Washington

  1. In the 2nd picture, about to enter the intersection, is a 1946 BUICK, either a Roadmaster or Super Sedanet; In the intersection, going to the right, is a four-door 1952 HUDSON Hornet.

  2. The newest car I see is a ’56 Plymouth. Second photo left of the drug store in front of office supplies. I always thought they were somewhat ‘sexy’, with fins shaped like a ’57 Chevrolet.

    I wonder if we have these pictures to view because of the decorations for Christmas.

    • Tom,

      Most likely the two photographs were taken to feature either the “PUNCH GARAGE” or “ALDER CAFE [as noted in the posting]. The Christmas decoration don’t appear overly spectacular, though the decorations may have been all that a small city like Walla Walla could afford.


  3. WALLA WALLA has won best Main Street in America twice. It now is known for its many vineyards that surround it, beautiful down town but not so much outside.

    • Dennis,

      Good catch !!

      The 1951 and ’52 BUICK cars were very similar.

      The BUICK convertible looks more like a 1951 rather than a ’52. The side molding looks like that of a ’51 and the car appears not to have the ’52 chrome extensions on the rear fenders.

      Across the street looks like a four-door ’51 BUICK.


  4. The Denny Building was built in 1906 by Orion O. Denny, the son of Arthur Denny (one of the founders of Seattle). It was damaged in a fire in 2001 and restored in 2002.

  5. My 1911 Model T came from Dahlen Ford in Walla Walla “the town so nice,they named it twice,” Washington. The agency was originally at 10 E Poplar, then 2nd & Alder, location of the second picture, before moving to 2nd & Main. Automobile historian and writer Floyd Clymer sold cars for Dahlen Ford in 1911. Records show the agency sold 41 cars that year. Did Floyd Clymer sell my car?

    • Wasn’t Floyd Clymer about nine years old when he was selling Fords? I heard somewhere that he had some kind of record for being the youngest car salesman.

      • While I don’t know about Clymer, I do know that Earl “Madman” Muntz’s first enterprise was a used car lot in Elgin, Illinois that he opened at around the age of 16. When he made a sale, his mom had to sign the paperwork since he was too young to do so.

  6. Yep, and Motorcycles too! (for Floyd Clymer). I met him when his business was on Venice Blvd. / A.K.A: 16th Street in Los Angeles . Later, he moved to Alvarado Street . He was fun to talk to, and he was very encouraging for a young boy interested in Automobiles, Trucks & Motorcycles! His “How- to” books were important to me! Ironically, I wound up working for his Company- in- Name – Only, — in later years , as an Automotive Technical Instructor at Porsche-Audi, picking up extra money reading “Clymer Manuals” to catch Errors before publication. Perhaps, they are still in business? It was an honor to know Floyd Clymer, an Automotive Pioneer with Cars, Trucks & Motorcycles . Edwin W.

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