Zillah Teapot Dome Scandal 100 Year Ago. What Really Happened?
Shady, backdoor deals. Senate hearings. Supreme Court rulings. The death of a President.
All of these elements are found in the shocking Zillah Teapot Dome Scandal of 1922.
What is the Zillah Teapot Dome Scandal?
Many Yakima valley residents as well as travelers along I-82 know about the quaint little landmark in Zillah known as The Teapot Dome. The Teapot Dome Service Station was originally located on Hwy. 410 between Zillah and Granger. It was handcrafted by Jack Ainsworth in 1922, who was inspired by the Harding administration's Teapot Dome Scandal.
It's an interesting piece of American history that was placed, as you may know, on the National Historic Register back in the mid-1980s. But did you know, that this adorable and seemingly innocuous landmark came into existence as a result of a dark and scandalous series of events 100 years ago?
The historical significance is stunning, in the aftermath of the Teapot Dome oil reserve debacle that stained the Presidency of Warren G. Harding which began in 1921. That's when the President, using an executive order as his weapon, began to cut some shady deals with a couple of his buddies to take over some very valuable Naval oil reserves with help from the Department of the Interior. This occurred in Elk Hills, California, and Teapot Dome, Wyoming. The truncated version of the story is that when Congress caught wind of what was happening, they cried foul and ordered the greasy leases to be canceled. The Senate and the Supreme Court got involved, old reserves were returned, folks went to prison and President Harding croaked from the stress of it all.
100th Anniversary of The Teapot Scandal Commemoration at the Zillah Teapot Dome.
The Teapot Dome has had numerous challenges since those scandalous days, including being displaced when I-82 carved through the area, followed by a cave-in, a rebuild, and an eventual move to its current location of 117 First Avenue in Zillah.
The City of Zillah is inviting everyone to an exciting commemorative event this Saturday where they will be...
...holding a ceremony to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of The Teapot Scandal on Saturday, September 17th. Mayor Scott Carmack will give a speech at 11:00 a.m. at the Teapot Dome Memorial Park located at 117 First Avenue, Zillah. The service is expected to last about half an hour. This event is open to the public. Come one, Come All.
It's all a part of the No Rhyme or Reason Country Market event in Zillah at Stewart Park on Friday, September 16th, and Saturday, September 17th with over 100 vendors participating and refreshments will be served after the ceremony. Check out a more detailed history of the Teapot Dome HERE.