Agricultural fields surrounding the town of Ritzville define its limits like lines on a map or a fence around a corral. Wheat built this town. There is a very active industry of wheat transportation, and the town supports a small airstrip used primarily by crop dusters and large grain elevator complexes loom large. A former flourmill houses a large seed business. Shiny new farm equipment, some of which is gigantic, is proudly displayed at businesses along the main street as you enter the town.
Trucks and trains come and go scrambling through the town like an active ant colony. At one operation, a large circular set of tracks form a conveyor belt for railroad cars that creep forward, each being filled in turn, reminiscent of an automobile assembly line. Large trucks deliver grain to be hauled away by trains that roar and honk their way through the center of town—all too frequently to get a good night’s sleep.
5387 Heading North
Main and Washington
The historic brick courthouse built in 1891 and rebuilt in the 1940s has served continuously as the seat of Adams County government. The population of some 1,700 folks live either in stately houses on the hillside in a neighborhood of well-kept yards and huge trees or in the not-so-grand but kept-with-pride homes of the old neighborhoods below. Life is good in this small town that has a hospital, a golf course, a dozen active churches, at least two cemeteries was blessed by Andrew Carnegie with a library in 1907. But alas, a freeway on the south edge of town has sucked much of the economy from the charming historic downtown.
Adams County Courthouse
It is difficult to find views in most small towns without a grain elevator or its shadows appearing somewhere. Although the grain complex in Ritzville is prominent, it is more common to have at least one church steeple somewhere in the background.
Zion Church and Old Flour Mill