Good Morning and Happy Thursday!
To the regular passerby, the building here on the corner of 4th and Main may look like any other downtown place of business. Except perhaps for the furniture in the display windows, that’s a little more unique.
What I think truly sets this building apart are the little oddities and surprises that live inside of 114 W 4th Avenue. And this week I’m not talking about the cash register. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cash register, obviously. I love the safe. I love all of the little pieces of history that have been collected over the last century. But that’s not what I mean when I say “little oddities and surprises.
There are some real gems that literally make Fitterer’s, well …Fitterer’s.
If you enter or exit the store through the Main Street door, you may notice that the door handle is a little shorter than most. In fact, its only about 30 inches from the ground. I myself stand about 5’10 , so I have to reach quite a ways to open it. A few times I stopped and wondered if there was a reason behind the height of the handle, but never actually asked.
Then a few months back, someone asked Brad about it. I don’t recall if it was a staff remember or a customer, but that day I got to learn the story behind the little door handle.
Though it’s never been confirmed, Fitterer family legend has it that this door handle was lowered for Mary Fitterer, who was a very petite woman. The story goes that Mary had difficulty reaching the door , and found it far too heavy to open. The door was replaced with a lighter version, sporting a newly lowered handle for Mary, who probably stood no taller than 5ft.
I love stories like this. Family lore, whether absolute truth or not is a part of what make families unique and wonderful. I enjoyed hearing Brad tell the story with a smile. His family history is alive where he works everyday, in my mind, that’s just really special.
Another unique piece of the building couldn’t be further from the short door.
From my first day at Fitterer’s, I loved the wall up on the third floor mattress department. The unique mural style paint really stands out and gives way to the vintage charm of the entire building. Earlier this year, during another conversation Brad was having with a customer, I learned that the wall was actually the exterior of the building that used to sit next to the store.
Brad explained that in the earlier days in Ellensburg , buildings were built up on to their neighboring structures. The Fitterer’s just happened to keep the original brick painting from the Webster Apartment building next door. Unfortunately that building was lost in a fire in the 80’s, but that outside wall remains a loved part of Fitterer’s. I personally think it adds an incredible amount of vintage character. It’s by far of my favorite areas to photograph.
There’s so much more that I could go on about in this building. Rather than continuing the written story, we’d like to take you on a tour. Tune in to our social media pages next week to take a look at the unique parts of Fitterer’s with Brad himself! We’ll be walking the floor and letting Brad tell the stories that he and his family know best.
Have a great weekend!