Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Mint That Almost Was

Would you believe I made a special trip into The Dalles, Oregon so I could see this . . . um . . .ugly backside of an old building?  I have to laugh at myself sometimes.  Only we history nerds would find such a derelict old site so interesting.
The front is even more ugly.  I mean, seriously, what were they thinking?

Let me backtrack a bit.  Way back in 1864, Congress passed a bill to build a mint in the Pacific Northwest.  Gold was being discovered, not only in California, but in Idaho and Oregon, as well.  People were pouring into the area, especially after enduring a bloody civil war, in hopes of wealth and prosperity and a new life.  The mint in San Francisco couldn't keep up with the demand of coinage needed for this booming economy.  Granite blocks from nearly Mill Creek were hand-hewn and shipped by wagon to The Dalles.  A solid fortress-like structure slowly began to rise, but alas, it was never completed.  The gold rush ended.  People left.
The U.S. government gave the property to the State of Oregon.  Its intended use was for a school, but that, too, never happened.  The solid rectangular block of granite became a place for storage.  Much later, a large concrete addition was added to the north side, forever marring any integrity this Little Mint that Almost Was might have had.

When I heard that a winery had renovated the property and offered wine tasting and live music, my ears perked up.  But even this business has closed its doors.  The mint's original facades are hidden behind heavy machinery and barbed wire once more.
There are other old historic buildings in this town that are holding on for dear life.  What will become of them?  I hold out hope that some guardian angel and visionary entrepreneur will move here and recognize this town's potential.  Our history is important.  Our children and grandchildren need that timeline to see where we came from, to see what we've become and to continue to reach for ingenuity and excellence.  I fear that our towns are becoming one long mediocre trail of big box stores,  Everything is the same same same.

And so I continue my campaign to:

Shop Local
Save Our History 


I wanted to share this post with the women at Judith's Hat Attack.  I have been admiring the turbans that have been showcased lately and have begun my search for one of my own.  Until I find one,  I must content myself with this wide woolen twisted headband.  I like its turbanesque silhouette.  Turbans are compact and minimalist.  I love how they frame the face. 

Wish me luck!


  1. Popped by from Hat Attack.

    Come join my Countdown to Christmas blog hop!


  2. Marea, we share so many interests. I also find history not just interesting but so important for our future generations. I am always so pleased when a building is re-purposed and not just left . I love a turban but find nice ones tricky to find here. P.S. love your coat.

  3. Love your coat and turbanesque headband!
    Old buildings are rare in this new city of 100 yrs. We value any aged surface we can find. Maybe I should offer my face for admiration! :-) xo Jazzy Jack

  4. I admire your passion for old buildings and architecture and what it means for future generations. I feel the same way. There's something to be said for preserving vintage as well!

    Love your headband and it does frame your face beautifully. Your coat is a stunner! Thank you for sharing your beauty and your headwear with Hat Attack!