Originally organized in 1880 as the Enterprise Planing Mill and Furniture Company owned by the partnership Cooper and Smuck. The wooden building on the restaurant's site was completely destroyed by a fire in October of 1903. At that time the operation had changed to the partnership of Whitehouse-Crimmins.
The mill was rebuilt of brick, and completed in October 1904, when a recapitalization took place with John M. Crawford of Fairmont, Nebraska becoming a principal partner.
The Whitehouse-Crawford operated as a lumber planing mill and furniture factory until its sale to the City of Walla Walla in 1988. The City planned to sell the building and the land as part of a development. The Whitehouse - Crawford would be torn down to provide parking.
Public protest eventually stopped this transaction and the building was acquired and carefully restored by its current owner, Salvation! LLC.
It is now listed on the Washington Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
As you walk around the restaurant there are many historic photos from when it was a working mill. Don't forget to look down and notice the beautiful red fir floor. Originally the floor joists of the building, the large 2 x 12" boards total an impressive 9,360 linear feet with boards varying from 16 feet to 31 feet in length.
The interior wall windows are the original monitor skylight windows, which had to be replaced for climate control in the Seven Hills Winery barrel room.
The boiler face that welcomes you into the restaurant originally adorned a boiler 60 inches in diameter and 14 feet long. It had 56 tubes, each 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Built by Russell & Co. of Massillon, Ohio it had a smokestack 28 inches wide and 72 feet tall. It powered an Atlas Engine Works steam engine.
The engine powered a belt 72" in diameter and 17" wide, which in turn powered seven different overhead shafts totaling 312' in length. These shafts powered all of the machinery in the plant via pulleys and leather belts.
The former planing mill from 1905 has been rescued and restored to house this airy, attractive restaurant. The Whitehouse - Crawford Restaurant invites you to share a meal celebrating foods and wines of the area.