This “bare ruined choir” is one of those rare subjects that Horace Sykes has captioned. He reveals that this is “Near Waitsburg.” Less than 20 crow-flying miles north of Walla Walla, Waitsburg is distinguished by its Main Street, its legal status as the only town in Washington that still runs under the terms of its territorial charter. The Waitsburg Times began publishing in 1878 and it is still at it. The town is set the juncture of several small streams, one of the names the Touchet River, which continues running mostly west to join the Columbia River at its big bend, the Wallula Gap where the river turns west for its earnest run to the Pacific. I have not, so far, found any record in Horace’s slides of Waitsburg itself, only this handsome ruin of a tree. This is typical Sykes who shot very few towns or subjects within them.

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