The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

PCA seeking members and donations

 

January 17, 2019



To The Eagle:

Formally registered as the Cathlamet Pioneer Center, but known by many as the old Pioneer Church, the building that anchors the corner of Main and Columba Streets in Cathlamet was built in 1896. For more than a century it has served as a worship center, meeting hall, Senior Center, movie theater, wedding site, performing arts center and most notably, the visual icon of the Town of Cathlamet. It has literally weathered storms that required FEMA dollars to restore the building for use. With the assistance of grants, cash donations and donated labor/materials, the countless faithful stewards of this landmark building have not only kept it standing, but they have consistently updated it along the way to better serve our community. Past and current partnerships with both the Town of Cathlamet and Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners have helped to keep this treasure operational. There is a strong history of working together to repair, restore, and maintain the “Old Pioneer Church.” Unfortunately, the Cathlamet Pioneer Center is aging and eroding much faster than we can raise money. Roof replacement, foundation protection and exterior paint and dry rot replacement have reached critical need and top the list. Interior improvements to improve access, safety and technology will increase the utilization of the building and insure its continued use for future generations.

Without a significant investment in repairs to protect the structural integrity of this historic treasure, which is the only building in Cathlamet registered on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington Heritage Register, it will have to be closed to the public and lost to our community. The Pioneer Community Association is working with Senator Dean Takko to request an appropriation from the State Capitol Budget to secure funds for structural repairs and updates to the Cathlamet Pioneer Center.

The Cathlamet Pioneer Community Center will celebrate its 125th birthday in 2021. It would be wonderful if we could have a Grand Reopening/Birthday Celebration. But before we order the cake, we must save the building.

Membership in the Pioneer Community Association and donations to “Save The Center” are both needed as we move forward on this project. Please join us for an information meeting, January 24, 7 p.m., at the Cathlamet Pioneer Center.

Suzanne Holmes

Pioneer Community Association

 

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