For several decades, Henry’s Bakery was a delicious highlight of Tacoma’s Proctor District. Located at 3814 N 26th Street, the building started out in 1913 as Long’s Dry Goods Store and became a tailor shop in 1920. In 1944 Henry Haase and wife Minna bought the building and opened Henry’s Bakery. It would remain for more than 50 years.
Born in Germany in 1904, Henry Haase immigrated to America in 1923 at age 19 to seek his fortune, meeting and marrying his wife in Seattle in 1932. Their bakery would donate baked goods to the Tacoma Rescue Mission and brought treats to tired postal workers at the Proctor Post Office during the busy holiday season. The local firefighters were also lucky recipients of goodies from the bakery, and it sponsored numerous youth sports teams over many years, including Little League, Pee Wee teams, girls’ softball and youth soccer. The bakery was very successful, with loyal customers coming from as far away as Seattle and Olympia to purchase Henry’s baked goods. Henry retired in 1966 and sold the bakery business to long-time employee Dwain Cameron, a baker he’d hired in 1946. Dwain continued running Henry’s Bakery until it was sold and closed in 1998. After more than 50 years, Henry’s Bakery came to an end.
In 2006, Henry’s son Kurt worked with the Proctor District Association and sculptor Paul Michaels from the Tacoma Historical Society to develop a plaque for the building. Michaels’ historic plaques can be found all around the Proctor District along with his statue of real estate developer Allen C. Mason (1855-1920) outside the Wheelock Library.
Proctor is one of the oldest commercial districts in the city of Tacoma. The district’s growth followed the establishment of Mason’s Point Defiance Railway Co. streetcar line in 1890 which went from downtown to Point Defiance and was intended to support the expansion of his real estate empire. The growth spurred by the line led to the construction of historic Washington Elementary in 1901 and Fire House #13 in 1911. The building which was Henry’s Bakery is still a feature of the historic Proctor District; it’s now home to the Manny’s Place restaurant.
Story written and featured on Instagram : @historictacoma / Photos courtesy of Kurt Haase.