By Marianne Bull
The Historical Home Tour in Steilacoom on Saturday, June 8th, will highlight all the ways an historical home, still keeping it’s distinct character, can adapt to modern life. They all contribute to the Steilacoom Historic District by showing their distinctive vintage character but being well maintained and in step with today’s world. Don’t miss the opportunity to view these privately owned historical homes.
One, The Bartlett House, ( 1870) on Lafayette Street, is a work of renovation in progress. While some work remains to be done, the visitor can focus on what it took to bring the house from dilapidated to ready for another 100 years. This house takes on importance from the pioneers who are associated with it. Civil War vet and logger Nehemiah Bartlett built the home when he married Laura Belle Downey who was a member of the first emigrant train that traversed the Natchez Pass in 1853. She was a businesswoman in the region and also wrote an opera in the Chinook trade language.
The Armbruster House ( 1870) is one that has had very few changes during the years. The cedar shiplap interior has never been painted and the fireplace is made of brick from one of Steilacoom’s early brickyards. Before the present owners, the home had been in the same family since 1913.
The Wolf Schafer Home (1875) was built by quite an enterprising man. He established a successful brewery which later became the Iron Springs Hotel, and was also the Pierce County Treasurer when the county seat was in Steilacoom. It has been lovingly restored by owners who wanted to take it back to a feeling of the late 1800’s.
These homes and three others will be open to the public on Saturday, June 8 from 10 until 4. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at Perkins Park at the corner of Martin and Union Streets, adjacent to the ferry lines. General admission tickets are $20 each. Proceeds will benefit the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association.