“We found what we think might have been a brothel, upstairs from City Hall.”
“That’s pretty cool.”
“Do you want to see it?”
I already had one foot out the door.
It’s dark and dirty. Gorgeous wainscoting decorates the hallway, while wallpaper hangs in tears from the walls and ceiling.
Inches of dust and patches of horrible vinyl flooring cover a beautiful hardwood floor of red fir.
Each room has its original door, a number painted on. A vent marks where each room held a small potbelly stove. The remains of an old cot sit propped up against one wall.
Dillon, my benefactor of the secret brothel, is the mayor of Harrington, WA. Yes, Dillon Haas, the youngest mayor in the history of the once booming town just south of Davenport.
Sworn into office on January 13, 2016, the 26-year-old has an incredible vision for the town of 426. He grew up here and left for the big city, his eye on schooling and careers. He grew tired of the hustle and bustle, though, and yearned for a slower pace.
He was drawn home, encouraged by a career shift to remote IT work for Microsoft.
Once he arrived, he wanted to get involved in the community. He volunteered for various community groups, including the Harrington Opera House restoration team.
Running for mayor seemed a natural progression for him.
He unseated the long-time mayor, running on a platform to rebuild Harrington’s downtown core.
Dillon sees a future where more of us are remote workers. My American already does, handling his high-tech job from home for 10 years.
He predicts many of us will want to leave the big city. We will shirk big rents, high-stress commutes and unmanageable costs of living.
He envisions a rebuilt downtown core with high-speed WiFi available.
“City hall already has 60 up, 40 down,” he says.
He wants people like us to move to Harrington for a quieter lifestyle, a slower pace and the sunsets.
“Have you seen the sunsets here? They’re incredible!”
They are. (Although they’d fall a notch or two behind a sunset on my beloved Alberta Rocky Mountains.)
He and an always-at-the-ready team of volunteers have started on the opera house. Built in 1904, it was the town’s cultural center and the site of theatrical productions, balls and dances. The last event, according to Spokane Historical, was a Valentine’s Day dance in 1942. It was canceled due to the war and weather conditions.
The decorations from that dance were not taken down until the buildings eventual sale in 1992.
It’s the cog of restoration efforts, too. It has since re-opened to hosting town meetings and concerts.
https://ourgreatescape.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Sunset-in-Harrington.jpg5611500angelahttps://ourgreatescape.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/OurGreatEscape-Final.pngangela2016-04-27 20:39:042017-02-12 05:43:05Rebuilding the past