July picture from the past What do you remember about this old business? Send your comments to [email protected] or write to Alice Alexander at 204 W. Fourth St., Apt 14, Port Angeles, WA 98362 and she will use your comments in her column Aug. 6.

BACK WHEN: Port Angeles residents share memories of now-vacant building

SEVERAL PEOPLE RECOGNIZED the June picture from the past as the old Salvation Army building on Front Street near Lincoln Street.

The old brick building sits empty now and has for several years.

Retired Maj. Jeri Bowden of the Salvation Army said that the Salvation Army began in Port Angeles in 1891 and left in 1895.

It came back to Port Angeles in the 1920s and it is believed that is when the Front Street building was constructed.

The downstairs held the meeting room and offices and the upstairs was living quarters.

She remembers its use of the building until 1973, when it relocated to Second and Peabody after the Episcopal Church moved to its new building on Park Avenue.

Salvation Army church

Louise Shadel wrote that the Front Street building was the Salvation Army church from the 1930s until about 1970.

She said, “My mother went to Sunday school there in the 1930s. I started attending meetings there in 1956.

“The Salvation Army officers lived in the apartment over the church.

“We had many good times in this building.

“It was home to Sunday school, church, the ladies Home League, dinners and special gatherings.

“The ladies produced a lot of quilts and the young people enjoyed parties there.

“A lot of wonderful stories came out of it.

“It started to deteriorate in the late 1960s when the Salvation Army moved out.

“I am surprised it is still standing.”

Ed Douglas Jr. wrote that his dad worked for Milwaukee Land and Ozette Land Co. in the 1940s and early 1950s and he remembered his dad working in an office fairly close to the old building.

Darlene Jones said she has many memories of the Salvation Army during the 1950s.

Her dad owned Kenny’s Furniture & Appliance directly across the street (the building has been torn down but was next to the current Kokopelli Restaurant.)

Her family lived in a three-bedroom apartment behind the store.

Gust and Clara Rydell were the majors assigned to Port Angeles Salvation Army during much of the 1950s.

They had three sons about the same age as Jones and her brothers: David, Lennard and Alfred.

They all went to Washington School (now the Post Office) and Roosevelt Junior High (now the courthouse.)

Church services and vacation bible school were held in the sanctuary on the main floor.

The Rydells lived upstairs in an apartment.

The sidewalks on Front Street were originally wooden planks with pilings and open space beneath.

A city project filled in the empty space and added concrete sidewalks.

Hollywood Beach, where Red Lion is now located, was basically undeveloped.

There was a set of wooden steps about midway up the block.

The kids used cardboard from refrigerators from the store to slide down the hill, and then walk back up the steps.

The railroad tracks still ran along Railroad Avenue.

They’d walk the tracks and sometimes put pennies on the rails for the trains to flatten.

Jones said, “We were told the pennies could derail a train. I seriously doubt that, but it made it a little more exciting.

“We always felt safe and played outside until dark almost every day.”

Unity moved in

The Unity Church leased the building until the fall of 1975, when it was sold to John and Virginia Tangedahl.

Unity had its bookstore and minister’s office on the east side with the sanctuary in a large room on the west side of the first floor.

The children’s church was upstairs until it was decided the children needed to be in a smaller space.

The children were then moved into the front area on the east side where books were and the books were moved to the back of the sanctuary.

Ruth Zinter remembered that when the children were upstairs and they flushed the toilets, one could hear the water running in the sanctuary.

Tangedahls remodeled

After the Unity in the Olympics church left to go to its new church site on Myrtle Avenue, the Tangedahls remodeled the building with an apartment upstairs and an office and small living quarters downstairs.

Tangedahl had his security business in the small office and the manager of his business lived in the living quarters downstairs.

Tangedahl’s daughter, Lynda Minor, wrote that her mom and dad lived there quite a few years, although she didn’t remember the dates.

Her dad remodeled the upstairs into a nice apartment and added a sunroom (not the one there now).

Her mom used to do colorful window boxes every year.

Her dad started Peninsula Security and for a number of years its office was downstairs.

Minor said she had many memories of sleeping in the front bedroom with the windows open and hearing the taverns downtown close at 2 a.m.

Her folks really enjoyed living there and it was super convenient for her mom to commute to her job as a surgery RN.

Her mom used to joke that when she was called in for an emergency in the middle of the night, she could get to the hospital in three minutes.

Minor said, “I feel very sad whenever I drive by and sees how run down the place is now.”

Tim Duncan said his wife, Lila, remembered attending Sunday school at this building as a child in the early 1960s when it was used by the Salvation Army church.

Duncan said, “Sometime after that my friend and employer, John and Virginia Tangedahl bought it.

“They remodeled the upstairs into a very nice apartment with a deck on the east side, always filled with lots of plants and hanging baskets.

“John owned Jet Construction and Peninsula Security.

“He used the west side lower floor for storage for his construction business.

“He made a small apartment for the alarm technician for Peninsula Security.

“I managed Peninsula Security for John and worked out of that building for several years. (I used to park where that car is in the picture)

“John and Virginia’s apartment was beautiful and warm.

“I have a lot of good memories there.

“John loved to play gin rummy. He always had me sit and play at least one game when I stopped in even if I was on the job clock.

“As I recall, a year or so after I left his employment for a job at the county (early 1980s) he sold it.

“I don’t know who had it after that but I do remember the lower west part of it became a smoke shop.

“Thank you for a trip down memory lane.”

Tangedahls left in 1988

The Port Angeles Directory lists the Tangedahls as living there from 1973 to 1988.

Paul Creech said he purchased the building sometime in 1988 and owned it for 15 years, although he only lived in the apartment for 10 years.

Creech commented that there was a fire in 2000 or 2001 set by kids playing on the hill in back of the apartment.

East end burned

The fire burned the east end of the building.

When Creech tried to rebuild the sunroom as it had been, the city wouldn’t let him do it because of codes, so he built it as it is now.

He sold the building in either 2004 or 2005.

After he left, the apartment upstairs remained empty but several smaller businesses were downstairs.

Smokin’ Joe’s, owned by Joel Wilson, was one of the businesses that were on the west side of the building.

The last record I have of the smoke shop was 2004.

This was probably the last business to inhabit the old building.

This is actually very sad, as this is a beautifully constructed brick building that served many people in its lifetime.


Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family. She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards. She can be reached at [email protected].

Alice’s Clallam history column appears the first Sunday of every month, alternating with Linnea Patrick’s Jefferson County history column on the third Sunday of the month.

This now-vacant building on Front Street near the corner with Lincoln Street once housed the Salvation Army in Port Angeles. (Alice Alexander/for Peninsula Daily News)

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