The town of Pomeroy offers a nice break from the drive through the Palouse in southeastern Washington, but it’s best visited at night, to see all the neon. Anyone who loves awesome old advertising signs and displays will appreciate the transformation occurring around Pomeroy, as a passionate collector spreads neon light around town.
I thought Pomeroy was just an average small town, as I drove through. It has a nice downtown business district…
… and a very attractive courthouse. Pomeroy is the county seat for, and the only city in, Garfield County, Washington.
There are a couple of big old bells on display at the fire department — although I didn’t see any explanation of their historical significance.
What really made Pomeroy stand out for me, was the impressive (and rapidly growing) collection of neon signs around town.
The first one I spotted was at the old Greyhound station, which it turns out, is not a Greyhound station at all. That sign…
… and the vintage vehicle sitting out front, provide just a hint of what’s inside that building. A guy named David Webb has built his own personal museum, filled with neon signs, old advertising displays, antique televisions and other retro stuff. It’s all in there, behind the curtains, and unfortunately the museum isn’t open to the public. I didn’t even know it was there until I got home, and started researching the town.
Thank goodness not all of his collection fits inside. For example, that antique Pontiac, parked outside the museum…
…still has the (presumably) original $495 price tag inside.
This old Dodge tractor-trailer delivery van also caught my eye.
But, neon is clearly David’s passion, and a while back, he must have realized that he couldn’t keep it all to himself, so he started finding businesses around town that were willing to display his signs.
This old Crosley Radio sign is very noticeable, near the fire department, hanging just above those bells I showed you earlier.
This “Beauty Shop” sign was installed in April, 2014, just a couple of months before my visit. And yes, there really is a beauty shop there.
David’s goal is to return Pomeroy to the way towns looked in the first half of the 20th century, where a Main Street filled with neon was the norm. I think it’s a great goal and I hope you’ll support him. You can ‘like’ the Pomeroy City Walk page on Facebook, for updates on his latest projects.
By the way, there’s still at least one original neon sign in Pomeroy. Be sure to check out the sign atop the Pioneer Motel as you pass through town.
The Bottom Line
Pomeroy provides a nice break from the drive across southeastern Washington. It’s also a fun place for anyone who enjoys old signage, especially neon signs.
Pomeroy is located in southeastern Washington, about a half-hour west of Clarkston, Washington. US 12 is the only major road into and out of town.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Waitsburg to Pomeroy…
… and Pomeroy to Clarkston, and into Idaho at Lewiston: