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HomeUSAWashington StateTea Pot Dome Gas Station in Zillah, WA

Tea Pot Dome Gas Station in Zillah, WA

Zillah Teapot, year 2001
Zillah Teapot, year 2001

This scurrile gas station was built in 1922 and was operating for about 80 years. Eventually, in 2007, the city bought the gas station in order to protect its historical value and plans to move it to the town center and re-open it as a tourism visitor center.

It was named after a scandal in which the cabinet under President Harding was said to be involved. The government owned an oil field (name: Tea Pot Dome) in Wyoming and leased it under obscure circumstances to private oil companies.

Zillah, Yakima County, Washington State, is a tiny town with may be 3000 people off Highway I-82. Take exit 54 and turn on Yakima Valley Highway.

The Tea Pot Dome is noted in the National Register of Historical Place. The Architect was Jack Ainsworth.

Brief History

Source: City of Zillah, WA, USA

The Teapot Dome Service Station was originally located on Hwy. 410 between Zillah and Granger.  It was handcrafted by Jack Ainsworth in 1922.  He built it inspired by the Harding Administration Teapot Dome Scandal.  The store next to the Teapot was the Old Dalton Trading Co. General Country Store was built by Jack Ainsworths’ father in 1902.  In 1928 Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Thomas purchased the Teapot.  They operated the gas station along with a store fountain built on the same site.  This was an era when gasoline dealers gave people something to look at and tell their friends about when they got home.

In 1978 the construction of I-82 forced the removal of the building from its’ original location.  Five days before the scheduled move it was hit by a car and it was caved in.  It had to be reconstructed which was no easy job because it was all hand-crafted.  Fortunately, the building was reconstructed and then moved with the help of the State Dept. of Transportation some 1.2 miles to its’ current site at 14691 Yakima Valley Highway. 

The Teapot has become an icon for Zillah because of its’ historical roots and longevity. In 2007, the Teapot was listed on the “Most Endangered List. In 2012 the Teapot was moved to its current location at 117 First Avenue, Zillah, Washington.

Read more on the City of Zillah’s website: Welcome to Zillah (cityofzillah.us)

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