Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Nestled in the midst of Washington’s Wine Country you’ll find a small town known for its rolling grape vineyards, award-winning wineries, and hospitality only towns like it can deliver. But tourists will also find the only gas station in the nation shaped like a teapot, complete with a handle and spout. Although is hasn’t served as a gas station since 2005, the Teapot Dome certainly adds to Zillah, Washington’s small town character.
In 1922 Zillah resident Jack Ainsworth handcrafted the unique gas station to protest the Harding’s administration’s Tea Pot Dome scandal involving sketchy leases of oil fields in Teapot, Wyoming. The scandal blew over a few years later and the station sat next door to his father’s general country store where it operated for decades. In 1985 the Dome was placed on the National Historic Register.
Today, the Teapot Dome is a popular tourist attraction located in the Yakima Valley’s Wine County. The building has moved twice. It was relocated in 1978 when Interstate 82 was constructed and again in 2012. The City of Zillah received a federal grant and coupled it with local support to rehabilitate the Teapot Dome and place it in a small park within City limits. The Teapot now helps anchor tourism in the Zillah area. It serves as an information center and directs visitors to nearby attractions, recreation areas, and wineries.