Roslyn, Kittitas County, Washington


Roslyn was founded in 1886.  It's population reached the highest level in the 1920's with 4,000 people. Most were attracted to the area looking for employment in the coal mines which were operational until the late 1960's.

Barich Home

Photo taken January 2000

The Barich Home was built in 1918. Many homes in Roslyn, as well in the Upper County are around 100 years old.

The Brick Tavern

Photo taken January 2000

Drinking was a favorite past time among the miners. The Brick Tavern is one of the oldest in the area. It was seen in the television series "Northern Exposure." The spittoon the pioneers used to dispose of their chewing tobacco still runs with water today. The section of the building next door was once used as a movie theater.

Northwestern Improvement Company

Photos taken January 2000

The Northwestern Improvement Company on Pennsylvania Avenue has been used in the movie "The Runner Stumbles" with Dick Van Dyke.  The left section in the movie was used as a jail, and the right side was used as a store. It also was in the television series "Northern Exposure" as the radio station KBHR, hence the intials on still on the door. I'm not sure what it was originally built for as I've heard several stories, but I will find out! For many years it was not used at all, and in more recent years it was used as a gift shop, especially now that "Northern Exposure" was filmed there. A Vetrans Memorial stands in front.

Roslyn Bank

Photo taken January 2000

The Roslyn bank sits across the street from the Northwetern Improvement Company. During pioneer days it was robbed by thieves on horseback wearing hankerchiefs on their faces. There is a re-enactment every year during the Annual Pioneer days.

City Hall

Photo taken January 2000

Down the street from the bank is the City hall.  The section closest is the police station and next door in the same building is the library.  In the building next door is the fire station.

Pennsylvania Avenue

Photo taken January 2000

The street made famous by "Northern Exposure." It is also the street with the most historical experience.  Most of the buildings along this street look as they originally were built.

View of Roslyn

Photo taken January 2000

Go up the hill on Pennsylvania Avenue and take the first right.  Look to your right and you will look down on a big part of Roslyn.  It's a beautiful site. This location is right in front of another of Roslyns old houses which I unfortunately was not able to get a photo of.  It was featured in The Runners Stumbles as a ... how do I say this politely... a house for prostitutes - at least that's what I perceived it as in the movie.  I was pretty young when I saw it.. In real life, however, I don't think it was used for that.  At the time I saw the movie, some time in the early eighties, it was rumored to be haunted and it was a really eerie feeling driving by it each day on the school bus.  It has since been bought and remodeled. Guess it wasn't haunted after all.

Walter Strom Middle School

Photo taken January 2000

 Walter Strom Middle School was originally located in Roslyn.  Today it is used as a day care and fitness center. The present middle school is considered to be located in Cle Elum though growing up we considered it between Roslyn and Cle Elum.

Roslyn Cemetery

 It would be hard to find a cemetery with more historical significance in the state of Washington than the Roslyn Cemetery, which seems to sit right in the middle of the woods. During the coal mining era, settlers of all nationalities lived in the area.  There are approximately 24 different nationalities represented, and many have their own cemetery within the Roslyn Cemetery itself.


Photos taken January 2000
"Buried here are nearly 200 Black-Americans who came to Roslyn to work in the mines.  James Sheperdson founded the first free Masons Lodge in Roslyn, The Knights of Tabor Lodge, and 2 Black - American churches located in Roslyn.


Photo taken January 2000


Photos taken January 2000

"The Redmen Lodge of Roslyn was organized in 1898 disbanded in 1950.  Their costume consisted of indian dress including feather headdress, buckskin suits, and moccasins.  The order was designed to preserve American traditions and provide sickness and accidental death benefits for its members."


Photo taken January 2000


Photo taken January 2000

Unfortunately the snow made it difficult to get anywhere in the Roslyn Cemetery and I sure did not want to stumble over the headstones which are layed very sporadically.  The photos above are those that could be taken from the road. Most of this cemetery has to be reached by walking ... up hills, down hills, through trees.  It makes you wonder just how big this cemetery is. I passed through the main road of this cemetery many times, but as a child I dare not wander too deeply into the cemetery, especially since it was in the middle of the woods.  Who knows what could have been lurking back there.  From the road however, I used to be saddened by the site of all the little tiny graves of the babies that had died.  I used to go around and figure the ages of each one I saw. Today there is a newer section of the cemetery.  It is more like the modern cemeteries you would find most anywhere else. It appears to have been leveled, the lawn is mowed, and the graves are organized in neat rows.  A big contrast to the hilly cluster of graves among the trees where you just never know where or when you might find a grave.

Kittitas Towns

Kittitas County, Washington

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Website 1996-2006 Sharon Bart.
2006-2009 Judy White