History of 927 West Alder Street, Walla Walla, WA


Property Description:

Beginning at the Northeasterly corner of Lot 5 in Block 12 of Reese’s Addition to the City of Walla Walla, according to the Official Plat thereof of record in the Office of the Auditor of Walla Walla County, Washington and running thence South 60º10´ West along the Southerly line of Alder Street and said line produced, a distance of 70 feet to the point of intersection thereof with the Easterly line of Twelfth Avenue South (formerly Twelfth Street) as said Easterly line is established by City Ordinance No. A-341 of the City of Walla Walla vacating a portion of said street; thence South 29º50´ East along the Easterly line of Twelfth Avenue South as established, a distance of 120 feet to the Northerly line of the alley; thence North 60º10´ East, along the Northerly line of said alley, a distance of 70 feet to the Southeasterly corner of said Lot 5 in Block 12 Reese’s Addition aforesaid; thence North 29º50´ West, along the Easterly line of said Lot 5 a distance of 120 feet to THE POINT OF BEGINNING.

Title History:

Washington Territory was created in 1853. The new legislature created Walla Walla County in 1854 which stretched from the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the crest of the Rocky Mountains in the present states of Washington, Idaho and Montana. In 1855 an Indian council was held on the banks of Mill Creek at the present site of Walla Walla to purchase land from the Indians. The Yakimas and Walla Wallas were unhappy with the treaties and prepared for war which followed. Missionaries, former French-Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company Trading Post at Wallula, and soldiers at Fort Walla Walla were the primary European occupants of the area prior to 1859 when it was opened for settlement. All of the land in this area was acquired from the Cayuse and Walla Walla Indian tribes by the U.S. Government in a treaty signed on June 9, 1855 in Walla Walla, and ratified on March 8, 1859 by President James Buchanan.

Walla Walla was originally laid out by surveyor H.H. Chase in 1859, even before its formal incorporation as a city in 1862, as a one-quarter mile square oriented N-S, E-W and with its eastern side centered on the point where Main Street crossed Mill Creek (at roughly the point where it does now). To this original area, additional parcels were annexed from time to time, usually named after the land owner of record at the time the additions were made.

For many years this property was part of a larger parcel which included Block 12, Lots 1-12 of Reese’s Addition, Block 16 of Ritz Addition and at least a 100 acres “south of the Ritz home place” near the Walla Walla County Club (then Ritz orchard and nursery). On November 29, 1873 Isham T. Reese declared bankruptcy and an Assignee’s Deed for this property was given to Angeline Kerry. Reese had operated a store in a “large split board square front building” on the southeast corner of Second and Main Streets in 1859. Angeline (Kurry) (sic) Merchant sold Lots 1-8 of Block 12 to James Monaghan for $500 in 1880. Philip and Catherine Ritz, John and Sarah Boyer, James P. Herdic all had interests in portions of this property between 1877 and 1890. Some of them may have represented security for loans. On December 15, 1894 James and Margaret Monaghan conveyed the property to Henry Pomeroy for $1500. Pomeroy and his wife Mary returned the property to Monaghan  on December 18, 1899 (possible loan repayment). On August 10, 1904 James Monaghan, now a widower, sold all of Block 16 in Ritz Addition plus lot 3 and fractional Lots 4-8 of Block 12, Reese’s Addition  to Granite Investment Company of Washington for $1000. On December 1, 1905 the Granite Investment Company sold Lots 5 and 6 of Block 16 in Ritz Addition plus fractional Lots 3-5 in Block 12 of Reese’s Addition to J. C. Hardin for $1200. On April 29, 1907 J. C. and Nannie L. Hardin sold the property to L. W. Roberts for $2250. Mr. Roberts was the general manager of Roberts Monument Company. On April 16, 1910 Lee W. Roberts, a single man, sold the property to John Andrews for $2500. Mr. Andrews was listed in city directories as a laborer, foreman and “barnman.” Starting in 1929 he operated Andrews Feed and Sales Stable until his death. On May 5, 1936 John Andrews gave a quit claim deed for the property to his wife Margaret Andrews for love and affection. John Andrews died on March 11, 1942. Mrs. Andrews became a patient at the Whitman Manor Nursing Home at Rose and Woodland Streets in 1967. On January 12, 1971 Margaret Andrews sold this property to Nursing Homes, Inc. for $2000. On December 21, 1971 Nursing Homes, Inc. sold 3 parcels to Vernon O. and Lulu D. Bohlman for $2400. Vernon was secretary of Nursing Homes, Inc. and manager of the Whitman Manor Nursing Home. On October 17, 1972 Bohlmans gave their property to Loma Linda University as a charitable gift. On August 15, 1997 Loma Linda University as a distribution of trust gave a deed for an undivided 1/2 interest in the property to Elaine Lucille Mandigo, single, and an undivided 1/2 interest to Robert W. Bohlman, a married man. On August 7, 2003 Mandigo and Bohlman sold this property to Geoffrey and Heidi Merritt for $33,000. On March 28, 2005 the Merritts sold it to Clinton M., Bidwell III, single, Clinton M. Bidwell IV, single, and Debra Chun, single, as joint tenants with right of survivorship, for $55,500.

Occupant History:

This location was listed in city directories classified section as a livery stable for two years from 1910 to 1912. It was operated in 1910-11 by Jack (John) Andrews who owned the property at that time and who lived on this same block at 921 W. Alder. In 1911-12 the operator of the livery stable was Luke F. Clancy who also lived at the livery stable address. Andrews and his wife/widow owned this property for 61 years. The Andrews are not listed in city directories between 1911 through 1920. Then he is listed as a laborer, foreman and “barnman.” There is no reverse directory for these years so it is unknown what use was made of this property in those years. They are listed as operating Andrews Feed and Sales Stable at this location from 1929 probably until his death in 1942. His widow rented the building in 1946 to Pioneer Brewery works until 1952. It was vacant from then until 1971. When she transferred ownership of the property to Nursing Homes, Inc. in 1971-72 the property was rented to Ace Fireworks with Richard Delavan.  This address was not listed in city directories after 1989.

Construction of the Building:

This distinctive property was built as a livery stable after John Andrews purchased the property and received a building permit for a “barn” estimated to cost $1500 on April 22, 1910. After its brief listing in city directories as a livery stable in 1910-1912 it was listed  as a feed and sales stable from 1929 through 1941. Judging from the location of other livery stables in Walla Walla this may have been located too far from residential areas, as well as too close to the common use of automobiles. Perhaps this is one reason it appears to be in near original condition until the present as a gift from our past nearly 100 years ago. The Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office does not list a construction date for this building.


Andres, Penny, Walla Walla Her Historic Homes, 1991.

Bennett, Robert A., Walla Walla  Portrait of a Western Town 1804-1899, Pioneer Press,  Walla Walla, 1980.

Bennett, Robert A., Walla Walla  A Town Built to be a City 1900-1919, Pioneer Press,  Walla Walla, 1982.

Building Permits: Whitman College Penrose Library Archives.

Lyman, Professor W.D., An Illustrated History of Walla Walla County  1901.

Sanborn Fire Maps: 1884-1905 (with updates until 1950).

Walla Walla City Directories: 1880-present (various publishers–not all years).

Whitman College Archives.


Mary E. Meeker
Walla Walla 2020 Research Service
PO Box 1222, Walla Walla WA 99362
August, 2005