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

Pioneer Center will benefit from state funding grant


Rick Nelson

Two of Cathlamet's historic buildings: The Elliott House on the left, built in 1870, and the Pioneer Community Center, right, built in 1896 to house a church. The center has been awarded a $165,000 restoration grant in the state's capital budget.

Members of the Pioneer Community Association were thrilled to learn last week that the state legislature's funding for historical preservation includes a $165,000 grant for Cathlamet's Pioneer Community Center.

Association member Suzanne Holmes announced the grant at Tuesday's meeting of the county board of commissioners.

The funds will be used to address a variety of issues, including roof replacement, foundation protection, painting, dry rot repair and improvements to improve access, safety and technology. The community will have to pay for the work up front in order to receive reimbursement.

The center, formerly known as the Pioneer Church and built in 1896, is on the national historic register, Holmes said, and is one of the sights that make Cathlamet a unique tourist destination.

Holmes said much of the credit for the funding goes to state Senator Dean Takko. In 2018, he and the late Kay Cochran, an association director, discussed the need for funding support, and Takko felt he could use his position in the Senate to come up with funding.

The request became part of the Capital Budget, Substitute House Bill 1102.


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