Ira Thomas Schmhiemd, born June 18, 1890 and Clara Ruth Hayden, born November 18, 1893, were of Swiss decent. Both Ira & Clara had been immigrants, who sought after the true American dream.
Ira, better known to his friends as ‘Tom’, and his brother William, were gillnet fishermen working out of the Mt Pleasant and Washougal areas. Tom’s obituary would later read that he was a “pioneer” fisherman for his community.
The spelling of Tom’s surname Schmied was modified to Smead by his uncle during World War I, and would remain as such thereafter.
Clara’s first marriage was to Archibald A Merrill (December 25, 1911). The two would soon open their own confectionary, Merrill & Merrill, with the help of Archibald’s brother. Clara left Archie in 1918, soon after learning about his affair with a young woman of whom they had employed. That day, Clara would begin her journey to Washougal, Washington to live with her aunt, Mrs. Christine Hayden Weberg Minton.
Tom and Clara first me during the year of 1920 and would marry months later in September of the same year. They blessed the world with two daughters, Evelyn Mae Smead-Christopher, born on August 30, 1921, and Helen Ruth Smead-Fleming, born on September 25, 1924.
In 1924 Tom and Clara purchased their first property, which would later become the site of Smeads Tavern. They opened for business in 1931 as a gas station and small grocery store, with a confectionary and a small lunchroom in the back of house. By 1933, the Volstead Act was repealed (December 5, 1933) ending prohibition and making it legal to sell beer and wine. Very soon after, the once quiet lunchroom had become the very popular Smeads Tavern.
In 1950 Tom and Clara Smead sold their Tavern, for reasons unknown. However, in their wake they had left what would become a time-honored institution, standing proud in Washougal, Washington.
Today, Smeads has lost the ‘Tavern’, and replaced it with a ‘Pub’, but still continues to be a neighborhood bar located in the outskirts of Washougal. The focus of Smeads Pub & all of their employees is to engage their community by offering delicious & rotating menu items, a calendar filled with special events, and an endless source of entertainment and fun.
In 2007, Dave & Kimber Eckman purchased the small establishment, embarking on a journey that they would not soon forget. Their shared goal was to revitalize the bar and update its quality, without destroying its ongoing character and profound history. Many family members and friends were instrumental in the remodeling efforts as well as the menu design. Dave’s mother, Linda MacGregor, even provided the two with a variety of her private soup recipes, which have always satisfied guests, even to this day. All three of the couple’s children, Ashley, Chellsea, and Levi, have worked at the bar, as well as contributed a great deal to the journey of reviving Smeads.
On a regular day at Smeads, you’ll find dedicated guests who will seldom miss the opportunity to see their friends and share their stories. Monday through Friday, you might want to stop in for Happy Hour, from 4pm to 6pm, and enjoy a quick beer or a wonderful homemade appetizer special. But as the day transitions into evening, once again guests are enticed to stay present for the many songs performed during Karaoke, or even enjoy a Live Band’s music.
Dave and Kimber plan on continuing towards their aspirations of helping Smeads reach its full potential. They’ll continue to offer a clean and friendly atmosphere, work towards exciting improvements, and are always trying to make a safe environment where fun naturally thrives.