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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Cle Elum

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April 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Optimistic outlook keeps Roslyn going despite economic struggles

A view from inside The Brick Saloon, Washington's oldest continuously operating bar. (Photo by Lucas Anderson/UW Election Eye)

In a former coal mining town just over the mountains from Seattle, residents look to a new local government and an ambitious resort development as keys to an economic turnaround.

ROSLYN, Wash. — We eat lunch in front of a massive wood-burning stove in a bar that opened in 1889, with a fully functioning spittoon running beneath the bar and a giant moose head adorning the wall.

So when city council member and coffee shop owner Karen Flowers tells me, “We’re in a little bit of a time bubble here,” it’s easy to see what she means.

“Here” is Roslyn, a town of just under 900 residents 80 miles east of Seattle. The former coal mining hub is probably best known as the setting for the 1990s television program Northern Exposure. Homages to the cult show are still visible in storefronts on the tiny main drag, including the perfectly preserved set of the show’s KBHR radio station on Pennsylvania Avenue.


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