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John Alden Shoudy and Mary Ellen Shoudy purchase the Robber's Roost trading post in 1871.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5134 : Printer-Friendly Format

In 1871, John Alden Shoudy (1842-1901) and Mary Ellen Shoudy (1846-1921) purchase the successful trading post known as Robber's Roost from founders Andrew Jackson Splawn and Ben Burch. In time the area becomes the town of Ellensburg. The trading post serves as nucleus for the fledgling town.

John and Mary Ellen Shoudy came to the Kittitas valley from Seattle because of Shoudy's business interests in improving Snoqualmie Pass. John Shoudy's brother-in-law was Seattle bank founder Dexter Horton.

As owners of Robber's Roost, the Shoudys foresaw the area's potential as a townsite. In 1875, John Shoudy platted the streets of what was first known as Ellen's Burgh and eventually Ellensburg, in honor of Mary Ellen.

The original Robber's Roost, located at what is now (2005) the corner of 3rd Avenue and Main Street, burned to the ground along with the rest of Ellensburg on July 4, 1889.

George and Jan Roberts, Discovering Historic Washington State (Baldwin Park, CA: Gem Guides Book Company, 1999), 123; Ruth Kirk and Carmela Alexander, Exploring Washington's Past: A Road Guide To History, Revised Edition (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 464.

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Shoudy Trading Post Historical Marker, Shoudy-Cadwell Block, Ellensburg, 2005
Photo by Paula Becker

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