Hotel Oxford manager, A. J. Forgues, stands with his daughter outside the hotel, circa 1920. She was born in the hotel in 1916.
The headline from this June 17, 1921 Seattle paper screams out the news of the capture of the notorious train bandit, Roy Gardner, at the Olympic Club Hotel.
The Olympic Club Café offered much like what a logger of that era could expect from his camp dining hall: nothing fancy, but good, hearty food. Today, a larger commercial kitchen for the Olympic Club occupies much of this space. The great back bar seen in this shot, now graces the Backstage Bar at McMenamins Bagdad Theater in Portland.
Louis Sonney, the Centralia Cop who captured Roy Gardner in the Olympic Club Hotel in 1921, quickly realized he had much better and more interesting prospects in re-telling the details of the bandit's capture to audiences then remaining in law enforcement. So, Louis hung up his badge and began road-showing around the country. This newspaper clipping from around 1922 features the former cop with his car on which he was marking his route from one state to the next.
After capturing Roy Gardner, Louis Sonney went from road-showing to filmmaking as a way to tell the story of the capture. Sonney went on to be a very successful producer in Hollywood. This movie poster, from about 1923, advertises one of the first silent pictures made about Gardner and Sonney. The theater was in Kelso, Washington, not far from Castle Rock and Centralia, where the exploits of 1921 had taken place.
By the time of Roy Gardner's capture in Centralia, the train bandit was front-page news all around the country. He had developed a Robin Hood-like appeal. This illustration, which ran in the San Francisco Bulletin, depicts the arrest of Gardner in the Olympic Club Hotel.
Roy Gardner arrived in Centralia in mid June 1921, he came across wanted posters like this one, prompting to create a disguise comprised of bandages on his face and hands.
Louis the Cop, around 1921. Louis Sonney was a coal miner holding the record for most coal mined in an 8-hour period, when he was recruited by the Centralia police department to put on a badge and help clean up the town.