The Elks’ Influence on Veterans’ Day

By History Department | November 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Hello from the History Department. As we dig into the Tacoma Elks’ history, we continue to come across interesting stories and facts. For example, did you know that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) has a direct connection with what has become known as Veterans’ Day? ***** Before WWII, November 11 was originally…

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Rudy, not Ruby

By History Department | November 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

Hello from the History Department. Remember that time that Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla stopped by the Crystal Ballroom (then known as Cotillion Hall)? Rudy Valentino was a legendary pop icon and Hollywood sex symbol, with swarms of adoring fans wherever he appeared, including in Portland. ***** Valentino, sultry, brooding 1920s…

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Hello, Gorgeous [Part II]

By History Department | October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

Hi from the History Department – Last week’s post about the Orpheum Theater chandelier now installed at the Tacoma Elks Temple really dazzled our Facebook history friends. The post has garnered a reach of over 58,000 people, 800+ likes and more than 400 shares (and counting!). And so here’s Part II of the story, with…

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Sam the Ghost

By History Department | October 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Hello from the History Department – It’s that time of year again. **************** Technically, the historians are the wrong ones to ask about ghosts. Technically, we are supposed to stick to the facts. And it is a proven fact that ghosts are hard to prove as fact. But… you never know. We have more than…

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Hello, Gorgeous

By History Department | October 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Here is a recent photo of this exquisite piece being installed in the top-floor ballroom at the Elks Temple in Tacoma. Easily 10 feet of gilded metal and glass, this magnificent chandelier reportedly took six months to construct for the lobby of the Orpheum Theater in Seattle in 1927. Imagine it casting a glittery glow…

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Beloved Community, 1990

By History Department | October 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Hello from the History Department – Have a look at just one of the fantastic pieces of new artwork that our McMenamins artists are painting for the Tacoma Elks Temple. No, the three figures depicted here were never Elks. As artist Jonathan Case explains below, this is a fictional mash-up of people who called Tacoma…

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Can You Guess Which Spot?

By History Department | October 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

Think you’re a McMenamins history buff? Identify the five properties with the clues below. 1. An eclectic mix of longshoremen, teamsters, brewery and mill workers have mingled with college students, legislators, governors, judges and lobbyists. 2. “No more can be said for them than that the man who took them is an honest individual and…

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Elsie Isaacson Francis

By History Department | September 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

“There’s no doubt about it. She was a perfectionist. She wanted everything right, and in order. With her life, and in her teaching. That’s the way she was.” —Bob Palm, Elsie’s nephew All told, Elsie Isaacson Francis taught 42 years at Kennedy School, from its very early years into the late 1950s, one of the…

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Harvey Hansen, Light Fixtures & His Hanburt Guitars

By History Department | September 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

As you stroll around our Anderson School property – or any of our joints, really – you will notice a preponderance of two things: interesting lighting fixtures and interesting music. Without these two elements (among others), it simply wouldn’t be a McMenamins. And that is why we named a room for Harvey Hansen, a one-time…

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Artwork in the Making

By History Department | September 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

This is a piece in process by artist Andy Eccleshall inspired by the Jolly Corks. In 1867, this rowdy group of theater menfolk, named for a parlor trick involving a champagne cork that they’d play on unsuspecting dupes, formed the basis for what is today the civic- and community-minded Elks organization. Artist Ryan McDonald depicts…

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