Our Past | 1938: Fairgrounds are site for Public Works Administration project

Selected by Karen Larsen

The following article from the June 16, 1938 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press highlights how the Public Works Administration (PWA) provided funds and men to accomplish needed work at Waterville’s fairgrounds in anticipation of that year’s fair.


Forty Men Start Work at Fairgrounds Monday

Forty men will be put to work at the fairgrounds here next Monday on a PWA project that will give Douglas County a well-equipped and modern county fair plant. The project will total $28,302.09, of which $12,401 will be spent for labor and will be furnished by the federal government; and the balance, $15,901.09, will be furnished by the county, in cash, supplies and equipment and use of the county road building machinery. The work will be under direction of County Engineer Fred Thomas and will be rushed for completion at the earliest possible date as a county fair is to be held on the grounds this fall.

The plan calls for repair of fences, grandstand, stables, and the erection of two buildings, 32 x 100 feet, which will be used for livestock and exhibition purposes. The race track will be blasted in some places where the stone is too close to the surface and the entire track will be resurfaced. Restrooms will be built and a sewer system added to the present community building.

Most of the men to be employed on the works will come from East Wenatchee and in the orchard districts where the unemployment situation is more acute than it is in the wheat sections. Free transportation to and from the job will be furnished to all men who are employed on the project.