Teapot Dome Service Station (Zillah, Washington)

Teapot Dome Service Station
Photo by Ian Sarad

The Teapot Dome Service Station is a former gas station built in 1922 and a shining example of novelty architecture. This little piece of design shamefully reminds us of the Teapot Dome Scandal that nearly toppled the presidency of Warren G. Harding and resulted in Interior Secretary Albert Fall spending some time in prison. The scandal involved the leasing of Navy petroleum reserves to private oil companies without congressional oversight or a competitive bid process.

The service station was part of the novelty architecture craze that swept the nation in the 1920s and 30s, and continued operation as a full-service gas station a number of years. Jack Ainsworth built the Service Station along Old Highway 12 When Interstate 82 was constructed in 1978 the station was moved just about a mile down the road.

After the service station finally closed its doors in 2006, the city of Zillah purchased the property and started a complete restoration of the hand-built teapot. The teapot and the original out buildings (bathrooms) were then moved to the current location. The Friends of the Teapot Association, historic preservation and community service, operates the teapot that now serves as Zillah’s visitors center.

Teapot Dome Service Station Facts

  • The Teapot Dome Scandal was the leasing of government oil reserves in places around the United States, namely the little known location of Teapot Dome, Wyoming.
  • The teapot is 15 feet tall and 14 feet in diameter.
  • The address is 117 First Avenue. Zillah, Washington, United States.
  • The Teapot Dome is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Teapot Dome Memorial Park is also home to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial, and the Zillah Veterans Memorial.
  • Interior Secretary Albert Fall, charged with taking bribes, went to prison for his role in the Teapot Dome Scandal.
  • The handle is made of sheet metal and the spout is a concrete chimney that attaches to a cast iron stove.

Friends of the Teapot may be reached at:

PO Box 1629
Zillah, WA 98953
(509) 829-5151