Corner of Griffin and Cole in downtown Enumclaw

This stately building standing on the corner of Griffin and Cole in downtown Enumclaw has recently been granted local landmark designation by King County. The Enumclaw National Bank building was constructed in 1923, for $20,600 by J.C. Jenson, the prime contractor, while Price Lee did the plumbing and T.T. Tiggs completed the wiring. The bank was originally founded in 1910, as People’s State Bank by Byron Kibler and others, rivaling the nearby First National Bank of Enumclaw. During the midst of the Great Depression, the bank failed as did 9,000 others across the U.S. Fortunately for depositors, the rival First National Bank agreed to assume all debt and liabilities, saving countless Enumclaw businesses and citizens from potential financial ruin. After the bank’s failure in 1932, Steve Polenus, a cobbler, moved his Steve’s Shoe Store business into the main space previously occupied by the bank. Doctors, dentists, and other professionals rented the second story office spaces. Like many buildings of the era it was heated by a coal stoker located in the basement with a boiler circulating steam to radiators located throughout. Interestingly, the street where it’s located was originally known as Coal Street but later renamed. Peggy and Toby Wenham have owned the building since 2001. She operates Almost Necessities, a gift shop in the larger space on Cole Street, while he oversees Sweet Necessities, a coffee, tea, and confectionary in the smaller space facing Griffin Avenue. This 1938 photo comes courtesy of the King County Assessor historic collection housed at the Puget Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue.