Monroe's first commercial laundry occupied a 30x70 foot single-story building constructed at the south end of Ann Street, near the river. The land was leased by a couple of Sedro Woolley chaps (E. Harris and W.M. Knepp) from a lumber company, which also supplied the steam power. Using horse-drawn wagons, laundry was collected from logging camps weekly, enough to keep 8 to 10 employees busy.
A few years later, in 1908, R.J. Scott purchased the business known as “Monroe Steam Laundry”, replacing steam power with electrical engines in 1920, quite an innovation at the time. That prompted him to remove “steam” from the company name, of course.
By 1930, Lon and Earl Heifort had bought the business, expanded the original facility, added a dry cleaning operation, and had more than 20 employees. Monroe Laundry was servicing every logging camp between Monroe and Leavenworth to the east and as far south as Issaquah. Exactly when the operations ceased is not known but there is no record of a Monroe Laundry in 1953.
Although there is no direct lineage to any of the original founders and the notion of “Laundromat” is quite different than in the early part of this century, the new Monroe Laundry Company endeavors to deliver services with the same pioneering zeal that forged the success of “Monroe Steam Laundry”. Hence, “Since 1908” in the new Monroe Laundry Company logo, which is, admittedly, a slight stretch of poetic license.
We hope you don’t mind.
(Our thanks to the Monroe Historical Society for research and photos)