compiled by Columbian staff in 1989

Fritz Braun

Photo dated February 28,1888. Fritz Braun's name is on the building. Braun was one of the first merchants in the area.

German-born Fritz Braun Sr. is best known as one of the founders of Washougal and the first hotel keeper in that community.

He came to the United States when he was 19 and worked for about 15 years in the New York area, as a sign painter and paper hanger. In 1870, Braun came to Portland and operated a coffee shop, then moved about 1878 to Parker's Landing in Clark County.

Steamboats landed there, en route up and down the Columbia River.

The community was named for David Parker, who had taken a donation land claim in the vicinity in the 1850s.

In 1880, the community moved to a new location, at Washougal. Braun tore down a hotel he was managing and moved it. He continued in the hotel business until about 1895 when he sold out to Morris Webber. Braun was said to be a good singer and participated in singing groups in Portland. He also was a coffin maker, notary public, constable and school superintendent.

The Washougal resident died in 1917.

His son, Fritz Jr., born in Washougal in 1882, worked in Vancouver, Portland and Minnesota. For a couple of years he also operated his father's old hotel at Washougal. After his father's death, Fritz Jr. returned to Washougal and established a lunch room, auto stage station and cigar store.

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