40 for 40: Adams County
Frank R. and Julia Burroughs Home

Holly Chamberlainprevious story | next story | all stories

Created in 1883 out of Whitman County, Adams County’s 1,925 square miles are noted for their production of wheat and other dry-land crops. Active heritage volunteers and business owners in county-seat Ritzville have partnered with the Washington Trust to help revitalize buildings in the downtown historic district ranging in era from Victorian to Art Deco.

The Dr. Frank R. and Julia Burroughs Home, built in 1889 and modernized in 1902, received a grant through the Valerie Sivinski Washington Preserves Fund to rebuild the side porch entry and replace a buckled sidewalk which was causing safety worries. A museum today, the home is maintained by the Ritzville Museum Volunteers who share the story of early medical services in town in a setting which contains family furniture, general furnishings reflective of the time of the family’s occupation, and a large collection of clothing from a variety of eras. In addition to serving as the town’s doctor, Frank was active in civic, commercial, and fraternal affairs for many years.

A 2010 Washington Preserves grant to the Ritzville Museum Volunteers helped restore the fascia, soffits, and gutters on the 1910 Northern Pacific Railroad Depot. This stately brick station is unusually large for a town the size of Ritzville. However, the “why” becomes clear when you learn that Ritzville was the largest rail shipper of grain in the world – yes, in the world – during the early 20th century.

The Ritzville Downtown Development Association was awarded a Sivinski grant in 2014 for another era of building – the 1937 Ritz Theatre. Funds helped restore the awning and neon along the main marquee of this classic small town Art Deco theatre on Main Street. Seattle architect Bjarne H. Moe (1904-1980), who was commissioned for the design, was known for his plans for theatres.

The Trust has been instrumental in saving agricultural resources as well. Adams County’s rich rural history is reflected by its 11 Heritage Barns, of which three have received grants through the Heritage Barn Grant Program, funded by the state legislature to help rehabilitate Heritage Barns and administered by the Trust. 

This story is part of a series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. Please consider making a special gift to the Washington Trust in honor of our accomplishments as we celebrate this year together! Continuous stewardship is needed to protect that irreplaceable legacy for future generations – we appreciate and look forward to your ongoing participation and support.

Here's to 40 more years of saving places that matter across Washington! Please sign up for our special weekly e-newsletter to recieve stories like this in your inbox all year long.

previous story | next story | all stories