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New: Six Historic Homes from Seattle’s Colorful Past

Posted on Nov 22, 2019

Six Historic Homes from Seattle’s Colorful Past

With its ancient Northwest tribal cultures to its secret underground city to the rum-runners during Prohibition, Seattle hosts some rich history. Luckily for us, several fragments of these stories remain, in the form of historical homes around the area.

If you’re interested in buying or selling your own home, historic or not, let Pickett Street help you ( or (425) 502-5397). In the meantime, here a few historic homes if you’re in need of a fun distraction.

  1. San Fermo Seattle

This Italian restaurant occupies an old pioneer house built in the 1880s. Originally located in the International District, the city eventually moved it to the Ballard Avenue Landmark District to protect it from demolition. The house is a small, carpenter-built, vertical plank, wooden structure, typical of the late 1800s.

  1. The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center

Though the existing longhouse is not an original structure, the Duwamish tribe built it on a major historical site (Duwamish Site No. 1), the location of two ancient villages called Ha-Ah’-poos (“Where there are Horse Clams”) and Tohl-ahl-too (“Herring House”). Hundreds of families lived in these villages.

The longhouse comprises traditional Salish elements, including carved cedar posts and beams. According to DLCC, “Traditional longhouses had partitions that enabled residents to adjust spaces as needed. Our main room is designed with that flexibility in mind.” 

  1. The Stimson-Green Mansion

Completed in 1901, this home is a gorgeous example of early twentieth century Tudor and Gothic Revival architecture. The home includes a tea room, a library with dark wood panels and Gothic cathedral-style windows, a Turkish room with mosque lanterns, and a billiards room. Now owned by the Washington Trust, regular tours are available for this space.

  1. The Ward House

This 1882 home is thought to be one of the oldest surviving houses in Seattle. The home is “noted for its handsome Italian villa style tower, square bay windows, decorative window crowns, and eave brackets. The Ward House is a “fanciful example of residential Victorian carpenter Gothic,” and one of the best best preserved examples of upper-class living in 19th century Seattle.

  1. The Maynard House

Rumor has it that this home was built in 1860, which makes the Maynard House even older than the Ward House. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society calls it “the oldest standing piece of architecture in all of Seattle.” Doc Maynard, one of Seattle’s founding pioneers and friend to Chief Seattle, originally built this home as a farmhouse for his family.

  1. Manresa Castle

Though well outside of Seattle, our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of Port Townsend’s spectacular Victorian homes. The owner designed this 30-room residence to mimic a medieval castle from his native Prussia. Now a hotel, Manresa Castle features gardens, banquet halls, and even rumors of ghosts. 

Which other historic homes do you know and love in the Seattle area? Let us know, or feel free to ask any real estate questions at or (425) 502-5397.

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