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Zillah

Another town developed by irrigation and promoted and named by Walter N. Granger, founded in 1892 and platted in the early 1900s. Rows of warehouses and packing sheds were strung along the railroad tracks paralleling the highway. Apples, cherries, and peaches were packed here, and the Mount Arbor Nursery maintains its Yakima Valley branch in Zillah. This branch no longer exists, though Soil Conditioners, Inc. provides organic fertilizers.

The Zillah Community Picnic was held annually in mid-June, and today is Zillah Community Days, held in mid May.

Images

1914 image of the Bohn Loading Station, part of the Zillah District Fruit Growers Association. Note the railroad boxcar at right.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Ca. 1915 image of workers loading ice blocks into tops of railcars, to keep fruit shipments cool, at a Yakima Valley Fruit Growers Association cold storage facility near Zillah.

Photo by Asahel Curtis. Source: Washington State Historical Society

1925 Teapot Dome Service Station, near Zillah. Photo by R. L. Boren. Listed on the NRHP.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

1906 image by Asahel Curtis of a girl holding a grape cluster at the end of a row of vines, near Zillah.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

1953 aerial view of Zillah.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Vix Air Circulation Company

The Vix Air Circulation Company’s plant, near the town, manufactured a large fan, which is used as a frost expeller in the orchards, as a cherry-tree drier, and as an air circulator for refrigerator cars when they are loading.

Toppenish-Zillah Bridge

Spanning the Yakima River between the communities of Toppenish and Zillah, this bridge, constructed in 1947, replaced an earlier structure built on the same alignment.  This bridge is important as the earliest known continuous indeterminate box girder bridge built in the state of Washington. The Toppenish-Zillah Bridge was designed by renowned engineer, Homer M. Hadley.

Teapot Dome Service Station

Constructed in 1922 to resemble a teapot, complete with handle and spout, the gas station is a humorous reminder of the Teapot Dome oil lease scandals that rocked the Harding Administration. It is a fanciful example of the roadside architectural “follies” built during the expansion of the national highway network in the 1920s and 30s. Station owner Jack Ainsworth designed and built the structure the year of the scandal. The station is a political joke, selling oil products from a structure reminiscent of the bribery controversy that sent U.S. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall to prison. The station was moved 1.2 miles west of its original site on the highway in 1978 during the construction of Interstate 82. This new location includes the original outhouse as well as the station.

Kerby Barn

This picturesque red barn dates from the early 1920s. It was originally used to shelter sick calves in the winter.

Theodore Clausing Barn

Theodore Clausing came to America from Germany, via Wisconsin.  Visiting his son, Arthur, to help build a home for his family, Theodore purchased property near his son’s farm and brought his family and herd of Jersey cattle on the train to Sunnyside. That Jersey herd was one of the first in the Yakima Valley and the first dairy to bottle and sell milk door-to-door in Toppenish and Zillah.  The barn was built before 1922—before even the farmhouse was completed. The farm is still occupied by the fifth generation of the Clausing family.