Enumclaw Youth Clubhouse (Girls' Club House of Enumclaw)
The structure that became the Girls’ Clubhouse of Enumclaw and later renamed the Enumclaw Youth Clubhouse was erected in 1892 on property located at 1724 Coal (later renamed ‘Cole’) Street in what is now the city center or “downtown” business district of Enumclaw. For seventeen years, it was the home and medical practice of Dr. H. H. Rust (pictured at right, in highlight).
In 1909, Dr. Frederick G. Ulman arrived in Enumclaw and took over Dr. Rust’s practice. Dr. Ulman and his family first rented and then purchased the building while a new home was being constructed for the Ulman family. Dr. Ulman kept the building for his continuing medical practice.
In 1925, Dr.’s Ulman and Staley combined their practices in the one facility and named it the Medical-Surgical Clinic of Enumclaw. (As yet, Enumclaw had no hospital.)
Fifteen years later, in 1940, Dr. J. Gordon Adams joined the practice; but Dr. Adams was drafted into military service soon after and would not return to Enumclaw until five years afterward.
Following the passing of Dr. Ulman in 1942, the clinic was sold to the Bridge Clinic of Tacoma. When Dr. Adams returned to Enumclaw in 1945 and discovered the now Bridge Clinic unavailable, he rented the old Kibler Bank building located on Griffin Avenue for his reopened practice. Joined later by Dr. Leonard Asmundson, with whom Dr. Adams had served in the military, the two doctors purchased back the clinic building on Cole Street.
Coincidental with the establishment of the Enumclaw Regional Hospital, it was decided in 1950 to move the structure to an empty lot while a foundation was poured for a new clinic building to be opened. The following year, 1951, Dr.’s Adams and Asmundson donated the house to the Enumclaw Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPWC) for the purpose of serving the needs of girls involved in local community youth leadership programs including Campfire, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and other organizations. The Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, the only incorporated entity in Enumclaw at the time, held title to the building briefly before transferring it to the newly incorporated BPWC in January, 1952. The remainder of that year through the early part of 1953 was spent relocating, remodeling, furnishing and decorating the building for its new intended use.
Volunteers of the community of Enumclaw, in cooperation with the volunteer leadership of the local youth organizations and the BPWC, pulled together to raise the necessary funding and resources, and recruit tradesmen and professionals and persons from all walks of life across the region to assist by giving of themselves and their substance to buy the lot at 1225 Battersby and accomplish the move to the new location and ultimately open the Girls’ Club House.
It was in February of 1951 that local masons began the process of digging out the basement and completing the new foundation for the building on Battersby Avenue. A new fireplace system for the basement and ground floor was started by the masons, with the stonework pieces for the basement hearth donated by Wilkeson Stone. Weyerhaeuser donated the many large 10”x10” timbers to support the structure above the basement. The building was moved the four blocks in forty minutes to its new location, whereupon the first floor fireplace was integrated and a custom-made ironwork log holder specially commissioned for the project was installed, and the completed work dedicated to the memory of Gladys E. Warren.
Cedar shingle siding was put on the building in 1952. In the course of the ensuing year, local electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and other skilled workers and volunteers gave of their talents and their time changing frame partitions, and replacing and installing windows, while local youth organizations and the BPWC did all the papering, painting, landscaping, and decorating. Weyerhaeuser and the Enumclaw Lions Club donated tables and chairs. The BPWC furnished kitchen items and local businesses donated major appliances, including a refrigerator and electric range. A wood furnace was donated, converted to oil fuel, and installed (and used until it was replaced in 1968). Additionally, a Washburn Factors Lyon & Healy of Chicago, upright piano that was manufactured and sold circa 1920 (possibly earlier) was donated to the BPWC and placed in the Warren Room.
The Girls’ Club House of Enumclaw officially opened in 1953.
The practice of having resident Caretakers for the building began in 1959, when Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brassard moved into the second floor apartment and started their stewardship of the building and property, (which continued until September 1981).
The exterior cedar shingles were repaired or replaced and re-stained in 1962.
Use of the Girls’ Club House became increasingly integrated, especially after 1969, when Boy Scouts of America’s Explorers programs became coed.
In 1972, ownership of the Girls’ Club House was transferred to Youth’s Leadership, and under the auspices of the new corporation, the Girls’ Club House was renamed the Enumclaw Youth Clubhouse. (Interestingly, however, because of its two decades of service in the community, the real property structure would publicly retain the identity of ‘Girls’ Clubhouse’ for another ten years before being re-dedicated as the Enumclaw Youth Clubhouse.)
The flat roof of the building was re-tarred in 1975. That same year, integration continued to grow at the clubhouse as Camp Fire Boys and Girls launched its own coed programs.
The exterior cedar shingles were repaired or replaced and re-stained again in 1977.
Electric clothes washer and dryer units were added in 1982, and the roof was replaced that same year.
After stewardship by Ronald and Gayle Breece, lasting approximately one year, Elmer and Sara Schneider became the new Caretakers in September 1982. (Caretaker stewardship of the building and property by the Schneiders was later succeeded by Aaron and Annette Harding. The Hardings continued with the clubhouse until July 1988.)
A final repair and replacement of the cedar shingle siding was made in late 1983; (the cedar siding was later replaced with white vinyl).
In 1984, a billiard table that had been donated and stored in the basement was traded for needed repairs to the building and replacement furnishings, and the furnace was replaced with a new natural gas fueled unit.
In September 1988, Allan Billingsley became Caretaker of the clubhouse. His stewardship would be the longest enduring — 24 years of devoted service to the building and property — until its closure and eventual sale.
From 1988 through at least 1992, in addition to hosting its many supported youth leadership programs, the structure served as the primary building for the local co-op preschool program.
By early 2001, several capital projects needed to be addressed on the property and for the building. Emergency repairs to the roof were made at a cost of more than $13,000. That same year, the old oil fuel tank for the long since replaced furnace had to be exhumed, removed, and the ground cleaned-up of contaminants, at a cost of several more thousand dollars. Concrete was then poured after approval inspection and a final ground test and inspection were conducted and passed by 2002.
Sump pump and drainage upgrades were called for in 2002 to alleviate flooding in the basement. A safety inspection of the building also revealed the need for chimney repairs, including resealing and replacement of the chimney crown.
During the mid-2000’s, several extraordinary financial challenges continued to emerge in administrating, maintaining, and operating the more than century-old building. In 2006 alone, the corporation saw a 100% increase in its insurance premiums, and similar increases in the cost of utility services — especially natural gas, which rose 72%. Additionally, the ongoing cost of repairs and maintenance resulted in an overall 95% increase in operating costs compared to previous years, forcing the corporation to reallocate funds for ordinary operating expenses and persistently draw upon dwindling emergency funds. Adding fuel to the fiscal fire, all costs associated with retaining the building and property continued to rise dramatically each successive year. During the same period, a spate of global, national, and regional disasters, beginning with Hurricane Katrina, drew so heavily upon the charitable resources of long-time supporters that annual giving to the clubhouse declined 73%, and never adequately recovered. Over the ensuing years, the weak national and tepid Northwest economy in general exacerbated the problem of greatly diminished contributions from historically strong private and individual supporters.
Fifty-eight years after its initial opening as the Girls’ Club House, the corporation made the difficult decision to refocus its resources entirely on the programs and youth the corporation was created to serve by letting go of the nearly 120-year-old building. The building was decommissioned from service in August 2011 and made ready for sale the following year.
Most of the furnishings of the clubhouse found new homes in which to continue to serve the youth of the Enumclaw community — including the piano (left), which now sits in a practice room at the Enumclaw Music Store on Cole Street.
A wall-size oil and canvas
painting of Dr. Frederick G. Ulman painted by Enumclaw resident Rex Waldron (based on the
photograph shown at right) that hung in the Warren Room, as well as the hand painted calligraphy
dedication in appreciation of Dr.’s Adams and Asmundson that hung in the entryway (shown below),
along with other memorabilia and pieces of historical significance, are currently
preserved in the Enumclaw Plateau Historical Society Museum located at 1837 Marion Street,
Enumclaw, WA, 98022.
For 58 years, the Enumclaw Youth Clubhouse served as the principal meeting and equipment storage place for girls and boys involved in locally chartered units/chapters of national youth organizations such as Girl Scouts USA, Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire USA, and 4-H, as well as local educational and developmental groups and youth programs that purpose community awareness, leadership, and civic service as well as social and environmental responsibility in children of kindergarten through high school ages. The clubhouse was sustained by the collective efforts of the non-profit corporation’s Board of Trustees, donations by individuals and businesses and other entities public and private, assistance from King County, and the continued contributions of a small but dedicated group of volunteers — for all of whom Youth's Leadership expresses its gratitude. It is not possible to properly thank all the volunteers who gave so much over the years to the building and property for the benefit of children in our community.