Ritzville is easy to overlook. A small city in Eastern Washington, Ritzville serves as the go-to depot for getting humongous amounts of wheat onto the railroads heading west to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. To most, Ritzville is a refueling stop to or from Spokane. But there is more.
We ended up in Ritzville because we couldn’t get a room in Spokane in June during the Hoopfest that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. Our son had to be at Gonzaga that Sunday morning to Keeley Cottage attend an academic summer camp. The only place available to stay within a 50-mile radius was a charming Victorian era B&B in Ritzville called Keeley Cottage and operated by the very kind Ruth. What a pleasant surprise!
Ritzville has texture; hundred-plus year old texture. The place peaked during the Great Depression, and has kind of been desiccating ever since. Abandoned buildings that sit for photographers. A functioning movie theater, neon sign crackling. And a classic Main Street that doesn’t wake up until, well, I don’t know, as I couldn’t find anyone to ask when I was there. Ritzville also has fantastic light. Dawn offers crisp, clear skies that reflects arid Eastern Washington. Dusk brings the golden hour to great swaths of the downtown streets. And I’ve tried to capture all that texture in the shots.
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