Wednesday, March 1, 2017
What On Earth is Roslyn Washington?
Roslyn, Washington is an old mining town of around 1,000 people in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. It's about 80 miles east of Seattle down I-90. It's quiet, full of friendly people and has a lot of outdoor activities for the family. It's home to one of the largest resorts in Washington. It's home to the oldest tavern in the state. It's got some shops, a movie theater, a general store, some restaurants, a museum, and a well known cafe. Doesn't sound that unusual, does it? Why would I bother to write about this town?
Let's start here. It's called The Brick. This is the oldest tavern in Washington. It's left over from the boom days of mining. It has a spittoon trough at the bar. It isn't fancy. It isn't a place for fancy cuisine. It's in the middle of town, and it's the kind of place where the locals go to hang out.
The Brick is rustic inside with tables, the bar, pool, games and a moose head over the bar. Once again, not something spectacular. Roslyn is a quiet little Cascade Range town. But both the Brick and the town are famous.
Here's the catch. Roslyn, back in the 1990's was known as Cicely, Alaska and was the setting for the hit TV show, Northern Exposure. This is my all time favorite television show. It's the only show that I own on DVD. It's the only show that I would sit and rewatch the entire series while I'm laid up from surgery. I love this show, and the locals in Roslyn are pretty fond of it too. For five years, the locals here played bit parts and extras in the TV show and made friends with the main characters. Some of the actors still visit today. A lot of them came to Moosefest in 2015 to see the fans of the show. And this is a great place for anyone who was ever a fan of Northern Exposure.
In the television show, Roslyn was supposed to be Cicely, Alaska. Cicely was based on Talkeetna, which I will be writing about soon. In the show, they did an episode about the founding of Cicely. Cicely was the founder of the town, but she was a sickly young woman. She came to town with her friend, Roslyn. That was the explanation for Roslyn's Cafe; the mural on the wall of what is actually the Roslyn Cafe. The 's was added for the show and was removed after the series ended. But these folks have not forgotten the show or the cult following that it still has today from people like me.
The Brick has always been the Brick and the Roslyn Cafe has always been just that. There is a museum in Roslyn, however. The museum is a historical one that covers the founding of the town which was actually based on coal mining. It also became a big hub for the railroads at it's height. Now, the museum focuses largely on the town's history from mining to the present. There is a special section for those of us who loved the television show. It has all kinds of memorabilia from the show. So, if you visit because you are a fan; don't miss the museum.
There are many sites in Roslyn that remain pretty much the same since the TV show. But, unlike the TV show, there are places to stay. The only place to stay in town in the show was the bed and breakfast that was owned by Eric and Ron. There are several places to stay in and around Roslyn. There are bed and breakfasts, numerous camp grounds and two resorts.
Suncadia is one of the largest resorts in Washington state. It sits in an amazing mountain setting with miles of hiking trails, a huge lodge with all the amenities and a spa. And, as if built for Dr. Fleischman; a 36 hole golf course. I could even play golf with that view. It's all in Roslyn, and waiting with a lot of family fun year round. You can hike and ATV the summer. You can ski and snow machine the winter. You can golf whenever you like. It's a great luxury spot and just 80 miles from Seattle. They even have shuttle services from the airport.
So, if you want to see a movie the theater is still up and going and showing first run movies one at a time. This is not a cineplex. Maggie's Pantry and General Store is where you would go for your groceries, antiques and coffee. It's not that different from Ruth Ann's store. The downtown still looks like it did in the show pretty much. One of my favorites though is the Northwestern Mining Co. building. Yes, this was Dr. Fleischman's office. Now, it is Cicely's Gift Shop. This place sells all kinds of Northern Exposure collectibles. The best part is that the building has been kept the same. It even still says Dr. Joe L Fleischman on the window.
So, come and check out a piece of television history. Come to one of the numerous festivals that this town has including Moosefest--for the fans of the show. Come stay at a great resort. Come and get away from all the hustle and bustle. Come and check out the coal mining history. Come for nature, or a beer at the Brick or lunch at the Roslyn Cafe. If you've never seen the show, find it and check it out. It was my favorite TV show ever. And for people like me, this is my holy land. Enjoy!