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Roof is Completed!

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Former American Legion Building gets new roof after spring storm
Restoration of historic building underway, RDO donates to project

Before and after drone photos of the roof taken by Brian Hart (above).


By: Katherine Trowbridge

Thanks to donations and support of the community, the North Franklin Heritage Museum was proud to announce that the roof has been completed at the former American Legion Building in downtown Connell, soon to be known as the C Street Vault. It couldn't have come at a better time as a late summer rain hit the area this week. For those who have been following the fundraising efforts to save the American Legion Building in downtown Connell after the loss of its roof to a wind storm on April 1, this was truly exciting news.

The roof project was the first in a complete restoration of the historic downtown building that served as the city's first bank.

Now the crew of North Franklin Heritage Museum board members, volunteers, and 509

Builders is moving on to windows and the interior. Shelly Harper, Executive Director of the N. Franklin Heritage Museum along with museum board members Amy Thompson and Connie Koch shared their excitement at finding so much of the building's history still intact as they work on the restoration of the building. One of the coolest items was the original velvet curtains on the main level. The curtains will get a new life as upholstery.

Port of Pasco Commissioners and leaders (pictured) were led on a tour of the building during their annual Connell meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 13. Port commissioners are considering a request by the North Franklin Heritage Museum for support in completing electrical and HVAC projects. Commissioner Jim Klindworth was a bit hesitant at putting money down on a project that may not see completion. However, upon seeing the building and the progress underway and hearing the vision, the commissioners seemed more receptive and excited at the work being done. Vicki Gordon especially loved the exposed brick in the upstairs.

The vision for the building is to see the upper floors transformed into at least four boutique hotel suites, each carefully designed to showcase a unique blend of contemporary comfort and historical charm. The first floor will house a vibrant lobby, meeting space for the American Legion, restaurant space, and potential spaces for retail tenants. The plan for the restaurant is to offer, at the very minimum, Sunday brunches. Hotel suites and certain rooms will be named after local Veterans.

RDO joined the museum on Wednesday, Sept. 20 for a tour (picture below) and photo op at the building. General Manager of RDO Equipment, Tyler Saunders and Joel Slaybaugh - Othello Store Manager (center) joined museum members Shelly Harper, Greg Hart, and Chris and Becky Eskildsen in front of the building for a photo (above).

Slaybaugh, also a Connell resident, shared that RDO is excited to partner with the museum in this project. RDO is donating $1,250 along with $3,750 from the Offutt Family Foundation towards the restoration of the upstairs. The Othello store has also offered to volunteer man hours to assist in the project.

Donations towards the project may be made to: North Franklin Heritage Museum PO Box 1185 Connell, WA 99326 or via Venmo @ConnellHeritageMuseum. To find out more or to help with the project contact Shelly Harper at: or (509)392-9594.

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