Our Walking Tour is designed to work on a phone, and starts with property Number 1, the Lincoln School at Washington Street and 21st Ave SE. Alternatively, find a property number on the map below and either scroll or use the “Quick Jump” below to start there.
Quick Jump to: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | 25 | 30 | 35
1. Washington St. and 21st Ave SE
Lincoln School. Built in 1921, this elementary schools is one of four Mission Revival schools designed by Joseph Wohleb, one of the most productive and influential architects in the history of Washington State. Wohleb is credited with at least 15 homes within the South Capitol Neighborhood, including his own. (#31)
The Lincoln School originally served First through Eighth grades. It is bounded by Stevens Field, named for the first territorial governor, which was the play-field for the entire city before the school was built. Besides school sporting contests, special community events take place here, from early agricultural fairs to mock war exercises.
Walk north on Washington St. On the right at the corner of 18th Ave SE is the next home on your tour.
2. 203 18th Ave SE
J.T. Otis House. 1914 Craftsman bungalow. An early Joseph Wohleb commission, designed for J.T. Otis, a local realtor and an officer of Capital Savings and Loan.
Optional Detour: Walk 3 houses to the left (west) on 18th Ave SE.
2A. 116 18th Ave SE
Brazel House. Among the earliest homes in the neighborhood, the Brazel House was built by George Brazel in about 1891, more than 20 years before the rest of the neighborhood was built. It is an unusual design for Olympia with its mansard roof. Brazel was a builder and the family was well established in Olympia.
Note the 2nd storey front windows in the 2010 photo below. These replacements did not match the home’s original windows in proportion or scale. So it was so lovely to the home’s current owners return these windows to their original glory in 2019.
Turn right, walk east on 18th Ave SE to tour Stops 3, 4 and 5.
3. 223 18th Ave SE
J.B. Stentz House. Built in 1917 for J. B. Stentz in a Joseph Wohleb design. Stentz, a native of Ohio, came to Olympia in 1903. He was formerly an employee of Van-Scoy Chemical Company of Mandfield, Ohio. He started the manufacture of flavoring extracts, toilet supplies and medicinal preparations in Olympia. He also dealt in spices, baking powder, teas, coffees, mustard, vinegar, ammonia bluing and soda under the Buckeye Extract label. His plant was located first at Capitol Way North of the fire station. Stentz was joined in Olympia by his brother C. W. Stentz who also worked in the business. During World War II alcohol and spices were difficult to obtain which ended the business. The Stentz’s also had a wholesale tobacco company for a time.
Continue East on 18th SE to…
4. 401 18th Ave SE
Parrott/McIntosh House. This beautifully restored pioneer style home was built in 1893 or 1903; inventory records contain two strikingly different accounts of its dates and owners.
According to one, it was built in 1893 by R.B. McIntosh for his daughter, unnamed. According to this account the building was made entirely of recycled materials from McIntosh’s mill, reflecting the hard times of the 1893 Depression.
The other account lists the house as being built in 1903 by Ellen Parrott, with R.B. McIntosh living here later on. Ellen Parrott was the mother of David Parrott, founder of the Parrott and Harter Machinist Company, still in business (as of 2022) as D.G. Parrott & Son.
4A. 406 18th Ave SE
Boardman House. After buying the property in 1918 for $500, in 1920 Fred and Kathyrina Boardman took out a $2000 mortgage from Olympia Building and Loan to build this beautiful large Craftsman-style house. Fred Boardman lived on the
house until the 1940s and sold the property to Angela Eaton in 1946.
Boardman is listed in city directories as early as 1906 as living on 19th Street. He was a boom man and also worked for Olympia Door Company during the period when the house was built. He was later identified as an engineer at the courthouse in 1925 and as a sanitary engineer in 1930.
Continue east on 18th SE to…
5. 418 18th Ave SE
John and Della Clemons House. Built in 1919 and first owned by John “The Tailor” Clemons and his wife Della (Smith) Clemons. Originally from Frankfort, Germany, Mr. Clemons came to Olympia in 1903 after tailoring in various parts of the United States beginning in 1890. His shop was in the Capitol Theatre building for many years. He died in 1946. Mr. Clemons was a member of the F & A M, the Scottish Rite Order, and the Macabees. Mrs. Clemons hailed from North Carolina, and came to Washington in 1903. She was a charter member of Trinity Chapter 215, Order of the Eastern Star, serving as treasurer for 20 years, and was on the Rainbow Board for 20 years. She died in 1971. The couple had one child, Edward.
Physical Appearance. The house is a good example of a Craftsman Bungalow with a hipped roof. Original elements include windows and window frames, doors, flooring, built-ins, woodwork, some light fixtures, fire place, garage, and basement. The siding was replaced in 1997, but made to match the original siding. The wooden front steps were replaced with newer wood, but the design is unchanged.
Turn left on Jefferson St. toward 17th Ave SE.
5A. 1717 Jefferson St.
Fleming House. The house is a good example of the Dutch Colonial Style built in 1941 for John Gragg and his wife Esther by a Mr. Ellertson of Lakewood. Irving and Phyllis Fleming purchased the house shortly after it was built and lived there until 1992. According to a family friend, Gragg was a “stockholder” in the Olympia Veneer Company and designed and selected the material for the house himself. He later moved to Oregon. Mr. Fleming owned the Fleming-Harvey Motors in Olympia for many years. The house has been maintained in original condition.
6. 504 17th Ave SE
Judge Wright House. Built in 1923 for Judge D. F. Wright of the Thurston County Superior Court, the house is a Joseph Wohleb design but is not typical of his other work in Olympia. This English Revival home is set in a corner lot surrounded by a high hedge and striking entry view. At the southwest corner is a porte cochere with tapered round columns and carved beam ends; it leads to a small porch sheltering the main entry door.
Judge Wright served for many years on the Superior Court Bench and was involved in some major decisions affecting the State of Washington, including the original decision outlawing state income tax as being unconstitutional in 1933.
Another judicial figure also owned the home for a number of years: Edgar W. Schwellenbach, state Supreme Court Justice from 1946 to 1957 (chief justice in 1951 and 1952). Schwellenbach’s brother Lewis was a U.S. senator representing Washington state from 1935 to 1940.
Walk west toward Capitol Way.
7. 426 17th Ave SE
John Dunbar House. Built in 1920. Dunbar was the son of Washington Supreme Court Justice Ralph O. Dunbar, He was also a nephew of both attorney Daniel Bigelow and Justice of the Peace George Byrd.
He rose through the ranks of public legal service to become Washington State Attorney General for ten years beginning in 1923. As such, he presided over legal issues surrounding the completion of the Capitol Campus plan.
7A. 403 18th Ave SE
Todd House. Built about 1912 by Charles & Jessie Smith Todd. Todd was pastor of the Methodist Church in Olympia from 1908 to 1910 and was Presiding Elder of the Olympia District of the church from 1910 to 1915. Other long-term owners were Miranda Thompson, and Arthur and Myrtle Bowers Marion who owned the house from the 1920s until 1965.
7B. 321 17th Ave SE
Vance House. This English Builder style house was built about 1925 for Thomas and Gertrude Vance, who had built the house at 317 E. 17th in 1904. The Vances came to Olympia in 1896.
Thomas Vance was an attorney who practiced with Frank Christensen. Mrs. Vance owned the house until 1951.
7C. 320 17th Ave SE
Mallery House. Built about 1909, the Mallery House is in the Foursquare style typical of many other homes in this area. However, it is unusual in being faced with stucco and having rounded porch pillars and supports, reflecting the transition to the Craftsman style that became more prevalent in the neighborhood later on.
Built by streetcar conductor William Morford, it was occupied by Bing Crosby’s maternal uncle George Harrigan and then by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Mallery from the 1920s to 1940s.
7D. 312 17th Ave SE
Strom House. Built for Emil and Elna Fagernes Strom. Emil Strom was a Swede-Finn who came to the United States at a young age, first to Butte, Montana. In 1918 he came to Olympia and was one of the initial stockholders in the Olympia Veneer Company, which was established largely by Swede-Finns in 1921.
Mr. Strom worked at this mill and at the Olympia Veneer Company’s Eugene, Oregon facility
until his death in 1957. He was active in many local lodges and organizations including the Swedish Order of Runeberg in Olympia.
Elna Strom was from the Independence area in South Thurston County. She also was active in the Order of Runeberg. She died in 2003.
From family information, it is believed that the house was constructed by a brother-in-law of the Strom’s, either Victor or Ray Kulla, as a custom house. The parquet floors in the living and dining rooms were hand-crafted by Mr. Kulla.
7E. 224 17th Ave SE.
Frank Phillips House. As you walk further west, note the distinctive porch set off by substantial pillars on the Frank Phillips House. Built in 1922 for dentist “Hockey” Phillips and his wife Helen Whiting, a music teacher, from a TLM pre-cut kit.
7F. 200 Block, 17th Ave SE
Along this block of 17th are several 1920s homes with beautiful architectural detail. The front entries are full of unique personality.
8. 125 17th Ave SE
George House. Built in 1896, this house is a modest example of the Pioneer Style with intact windows, although changes have been made on the porch. The house also has an outbuilding in the same style, which could have been a barn.
The 3rd second storey window on the front was added sometime between 1936 and 1997, creating an unfortunate imbalance that is not original to the home. These days an Historic Review is required for exterior changes in the neighborhood.
9. 113 17th Ave SE
Preston M. Troy House. The 1893 Victorian was the home of the P. M. Troy family. Troy was born in Dungeness, Washington, the son of pioneer settlers. he was educated at the Olympia Collegiate Institute and obtained a law degree at the University of Michigan. he was president of the Olympia National Bank, city attorney and county prosecuting attorney. He was also active in a number of local organizations. His son, Smith Troy, served as Attorney General of Washington State.
Physical Appearance. Surrounded by shrubbery and overshadowed by a tall dogwood tree, the Troy House is a rectangular, one-and-one-half-story Queen Anne style cottage of wood frame construction. The hipped and gabled roof is covered with composition shingles and broken by gabled dormers on the side facades. A dentiled, bracketed cornice encircles the house. The pedimented front (north) gable is ornamented with decorative shingles. Below the gable is a polygonal bay; its central window has a border of small stained glass panes, as does a smaller window in the gable. To the left of the bay is a narrow porch with turned posts and balusters, leading to the paneled entry door, which also has stained glass panes. Beneath the west gable is another polygonal bay. Fenestration includes tall double-hung sash with one-over-one lights, and some newer windows.
Cross 17th Ave SW and go to corner at Capitol Way.
10. 1616 Capitol Way
Mead House. This Queen Anne style home was likely built in the 1890s. Governor Albert Mead and his family lived here some time during his one-term tenure in office (1905-1909). The family, like most households here in the days before commercial dairies, maintained a cow and chickens in a shed in the back yard. During Mead’s tenure, he successfully lobbied to have a state-owned mansion built, finding it impossible entertain visitors and dignitaries in a private home. The Governor’s Mansion was completed in 1908, but by then Mead had been defeated in the primary, so never occupied the mansion.
The home experienced a fire in the 1980s and is now converted to apartments. However, its original Queen Anne exterior features are well maintained.
Walk south on Capitol Way, cross at 18th Ave crosswalk, then walk north toward 17th Ave SW. There are 2 optional stops on Capitol Way, then turn onto 17th Ave. SE.
10A. 1705 Capitol Way S
Ross House. The Hugh Ross house is a distinctively designed South Capitol Neighborhood Landmark whose appearance has changed from the original but has achieved historic significance. Its present design is distinctive in Olympia and reflects the changing tastes from Victorian to later styles.
Ross was a Canadian native who came to Olympia with his wife Sarah E. Stubbs Ross in 1890 and formed a partnership with Robert Marr. The two operated a drug store in the old Reed Block for many years. Later Ross operated his own drug store at the corner of 6th (Legion Way) and Main for many years in the old Stuart Block. Ross was active in the Olympia West Side Lumber Mill, Olympia National Bank, and Olympia Light and Power Company.
Mrs. Ross died in 1920 and Hugh Ross in 1921. Historic views of the home show a different roofline and wood instead of stucco cladding. Assessor’s records indicate the remodeling was done in 1928 by Clyde and Dora Howey.
Howey owned a grocery store on Capitol Way for many years. They remodeled the house to its present appearance.
11. 127 17th Ave SW
Guy Winstanley House. This interesting craftsman house was built ca. 1910 by Guy Winstanley, a Canadian native who owned a cigar smokeshop in Olympia with Blankenship at 415 Capitol Way. The store was the gathering spot for politicians and locals alike for many years. Winstanley came to Washington in 1889 and was a city councilman in Olympia 1898-1902. He was first exalted ruler of the Olympia Elks Lodge. He also coached the town baseball team, the Olympia Senators.
Turn Right onto Columbia Street SW.
12. 1617 Columbia Street SW
Parker/Mills House. The Parker/Mills House is a handsome and early example of the Craftsman style that became increasingly popular in Olympia in the early decades of the twentieth century. It was built by Emmett Parker in about 1904. Parker became a justice of the Washington Supreme Court a few years later. (See also the Parker House, which was also owned by Emmett Parker.) For many years the house was occupied by Jesse Mills, a prominent member of the pioneer Mills family, and founder of Mills and Mills Funeral home. The house is on the local historic register and is located in the South Capitol National Historic District.
12A. 1603 Columbia St. SW
Harmony House. Kitty-corner from the similarly named Harmon House (at stop #13), the Harmony House is an early example of the modest bungalows that are typical of the South Capitol Neighborhood. It was built by Charles Harmony around 1910 and was later owned by CB Mann, a country treasurer and businessman, who was the instigator of the valuable Thurston County Pioneers project, the source of much information about early Thurston County. The home is very well preserved.
Continue on Columbia St. SW.
13. Five TLM Homes: 1522, 1528, 1532, 1602 and 1606 Columbia St. SW
This cluster of five “Tumwater Ready Cut” homes were built by Tumwater Lumber Mill between 1920-1921, showcasing the variety of designs offered, from Craftsman Bungalow to Dutch Colonial style. The Anderson brothers were longtime lumber manufacturers who pioneered precut houses in the west. Tumwater Ready Cut Homes featured prefabricated lumber which could be delivered quickly and easily framed. Materials included drawings, specially marked lumber which indicated the section of the house and the type of building material, finishing lumber for doors, windows and built-in features, including cabinetry, fireplaces and wainscoting. Tumwater Lumber Mills built over 500 homes in Olympia. You can see one of the original brochures for these homes here.
Historical information about the owners of 3 of the houses in this block is below.
Minor House, 1528 Columbia. This house was built in 1922. It was featured in one of the company’s brochures. This is one of five houses built by Tumwater Lumber Mills along Columbia St. The first owner of the house according to available records was Ernest Minor, an accountant with the State Auditor’s Office. It was also owned for a time by William P. Tucker, State Librarian.
Harmon House, 1532 Columbia St. SW. The Harmon home’s design was featured in Tumwater Lumber Mills’s 1922 catalogue, and was bought by C.M. Harmon in 1928. Harmon was also associated with the lumber industry, being an officer in Hyak Lumber Company in downtown Olympia. The house has a combination of Craftsman style and Dutch Colonial features.
Sekstrom/Paton House, 1606 Columbia St. SW. The house was sold to Reverend Herman Anderson and his wife Elvira in 1927. They immediately transferred the property to Manne (Morris) and Freeda Sekstrom. The property was purchased in 1928 by Clyde and Margaret Paton. Paton was a salesman for Olympia and Foster Motors and operated a fountain shop in Olympia. His widow lived in the house until 1980.
13A. 1607 Columbia St. SW
Ole C. Hanson House. Built in 1914, this an early commission for architect Joseph Wohleb. In these early years of his work in Olympia Wohleb was adeptly and dramatically demonstrating the breadth of his skills, from the Dutch Colonial style to the English Renaissance and Mission styles. This Craftsman style home, with Tudor elements, is very similar in style to the Otis House (tour stop #2) that was built the same year.
Ole C. Hanson, an immigrant from Norway, was a cofounder of the Olympia Oyster Company, along with with his first father-in-law, W.H. Kneeland. After his divorce from Bertha Kneeland Hanson, Hanson married his second wife, Louise. As with many homes in this neighborhood, the home was then occupied by a judge and a doctor, due to its proximity both to the courts and the first St. Peter Hospital.
13B. 1517 Columbia St. SW
Burford House. Built about 1927, this English Revival home a duplex, each side identical.
It is associated with the pioneer Yeager family. Ida Yeager Burford’s grandfather, William T. Yeager, built a home at the current location of the Bettman Block on Fourth Avenue. Her father, William H. Yeager Sr. and his wife Ida Mossman Yeager built the Yeager House on 10th Avenue. Her brother, William H Jr and his wife Ada built the William H. and Ada Yeager home on Capitol Way. Thus, Ida Yeager Burford was well suited to be the first curator of the Lord Mansion after it became the State Capital Museum in 1942. Burford was also active in many civic organizations and was a proud alumna of the University of Washington.
Ida Yeager Burford’s husband, Richard, was a Commander of the Civilian Defense Corps during World War II.
13C. 1518 Columbia St. SW
Parr House. The house according to available information was built in the 1890’s and stood where the Temple of Justice is now located on the Capitol Campus nearby. It was among a number of homes moved prior to the construction of that building in 1912.
First owners of the house after it was relocated were Harry and Evelyn George Parr, who lived in the home until 1961.
Harry Parr was a longtime Olympia attorney originally from Ohio and Canada who practiced law privately and for the state.
Evelyn George’s family were grocers in Olympia. Her father Orville George had a store on 4th near the waterfront and her brother M. E. George had a grocery in the Angelus Hotel Building after the turn of the century.
14. 1513 Columbia St. SW
The Music Studio. Built by H.L. Ellsworth around 1914. Ellsworth built several other houses in the area: a Craftsman bungalow duplex in 1927 at 209-211 19th Ave SW designed by architect Joseph Wohleb, a smaller bungalow next door at 203 19th Ave SW in 1921, and even smaller one on 1911 Columbia St. SW in 1924.
An early and excellent example of the Craftsman style bungalow typical of the South Capitol neighborhood, The Music Studio received its name from the Torlakson family that operated a music studio at this address for a number of years in the 1930s. The open timber framework over the door is particularly characteristic of this style. The home has been nicely restored.
14A. 1512 Columbia St. SW
Crombie House. The house is listed in the Thurston County Assessor’s Records as having been built in 1907, though it was not on this plat and may have been moved from the Capital grounds.
It was owned from 1913 by Jacob Lehnherr, a cabinetmaker, and his wife Johanna. It was sold to Mary Shaw Crombie in 1923 for $4200.
Crombie had come to Tumwater in 1872 from Illinois. She married to Fred Walter Crombie, a pioneer Olympia druggist who began work here in Olympia in 1888. He owned a number of drug stores in the area including “Crombie Drug” on Capitol Way, which he operated with his son Walter and daughter Bessie. Bessie was a graduate of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy.
Crombie died in 1931 and his wife died in 1954. Their daughter Bessie continued to live in the house until the early 1960s.
Turn left on 15th Ave SW, then left onto Water St.
15. 1500 Water St. SW
Frank Liby Apartments. Built in 1922, this apartment building was owned by Frank Liby, cashier at Security Bank. The South Capitol neighborhood has long featured rooming houses and duplexes among its housing choices and continues to do so today.
Continue South on Water Street SW to…
16. 1604 Water St., SW
H.J. Maury House. Built around 1926, the Maury home is a well-preserved example of one of Tumwater Lumber Mills pre-cut homes. It is in their popular English Revival style. Maury was a prominent Olympia banker who came to Washington in 1909. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati in 1906, he was vice-president of the Security Bank in Olympia from 1925-56, president of the Bank of Winlock from 1913-27 and also president of the Bank of Wilkeson. The house was owned by Dr. Frank Rotchford for many years. Listed on the Olympia Heritage Register.
Extensive renovation of the house was done by Mary Ellen McKain and Clyde McBrayer.
17. 1610 Water St. SW
Justice Herman Crow House. Built for Justice Herman Crow in the 1910-1912 era, the house is one of the best examples of the Foursquare Style in the neighborhood.
Justice Crow was a Washington Supreme Court Justice who served from 1905-1915 and was Chief Justice in 1913-15. Born in Delaware, Ohio in 1851, he received his education from Ohio Wesleyan and practiced law in Ohio, Kansas and Spokane. He was also a State Senator.
The house was also owned by Dr. Francis Longaker, mayor of Olympia from 1934 to 1937. It was purchased by the present owners from Rev. McDonald, a retired Methodist minister.
18. 1628 Water St., SW.
Dufault House. One of the several well-preserved Foursquare houses in the South Capital Neighborhood, this house was built ca. 1903 by Charles Dufault, an Olympia businessman and city councilman. The house was later owned by Charles Briffit, one-time principal of Lincoln School. In 1923, it was purchased by Roy Newell, a longtime local contractor and father of Gordon Newell, well-known local historian and author of Rogues, Buffoons and Statesmen: The Inside Story of Washington’s Capital City.
19. 1625 Water St. SW
Neuffer House. This handsome house was built in 1906 by Paul Neuffer. Neuffer first established his jeweler’s business in Olympia in 1890. A native of
Germany who had worked in New York, Arizona, New Mexico and Los Angeles, Neuffer first had a shop at 4th near Washington downtown in Olympia. In 1906 he built the present Neuffer business block on Capitol Way in concrete construction. The Neuffer House
was also the residence of Tom O’Leary, a local attorney, for many years.
19A. 316 17th Ave SW
Treat House. Albert M. Treat, a well known early doctor, built this home in 1937. Many physicians built homes in the South Capitol neighborhood in the early 20th century, as it was near to St. Peter Hospital, then located at the current site of Capitol Campus, but when Dr. Treat moved to Olympia in 1934, the new Sherman Street hospital was already in place.
Dr. Treat was a physician and surgeon. He
married Maud Treat, a registered nurse, in 1931. The couple had two sons, George and W.A. Treat. Until the 1940s, the neighborhood was known as the “south end,” and was always very fashionable. The Treats owned the house until 1972.
Turn right, walk west on 17th Ave SW to…
20. 401 17th Ave SW
Janet Moore House. Built in 1911, this modest craftsman house is associated with an outstanding Olympia woman. Janet Moore was very active in the State Women’s Club Movement. She was the daughter of P. D. and Phoebe Moore. Her father came to Olympia in 1863 as Collector of Revenue for Washington and Idaho.
Moore was a charter member of the Olympia Women’s Club when she was just 17. She taught school in Olympia for more than 40 years beginning in the 1880s. She was also instrumental in establishing the Olympia Carnegie Library and the State Training School for Girls in Grand Mound in 1913. As president of the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs, she spearheaded the drive to abolish the use of a communal drinking cup in schools. She also conducted services in the
20A. 1625 Sylvester St. SW
McCully House. Demonstrating the vast scope of his architectural repertoire, Joseph Wohleb designed this house for Merritt and Ethel McCully around 1921, shortly after their marriage.
The home is an elegant Colonial Revival style, with a carport reflecting the new automotive era. It overlooks Capitol Lake, which was then the Deschutes Estuary.
Mr. McCully was a reporter for the Tacoma newspaper and a statistician for the state. The home was owned by Robert (Bobby) Schmidt, president of Olympia Brewing Company, and then for a number of years by the Gadbaw family. Holly Gadbaw was a mayor of Olympia.
Optional Detour: Walk down Sylvester St. SW to see 3 Historic Homes
20B. 1623 Sylvester St. SW
Parker House. The attractive Craftsman style Parker House, built in 1920, is an example of architect Joseph Wohleb’s versatility. Wohleb also designed the next door Colonial style McCully House (20A), built about the same time. The Parker House’s efficient and compact style was copied by Tumwater Lumber Mills for its catalog of precut homes. I
At the time the home was built, Emmett Parker was a justice of the Washington Supreme Court, and served on the court during the completion of the Temple of Justice (WA Supreme Court) on Capitol Campus. It is a much more modest home than the nearby Parker/Mills House which Justice Parker had owned earlier.
20C. 1601 Sylvester St. SW
Titus House. Built in 1923, designed by the architectural firm of Hill, Mock, and Griffin in a “French eclectic” style. The owner was Allen Titus, who bought a small automobile dealership and built it to become one of the area’s largest. In the same year this home was built, Titus erected the flamboyant Olympia Motors building on Fourth Avenue (see photo below.) He later owned dealerships throughout the northwest and his name survives as the Titus-Will Auto Dealership.
Later this home was owned by Attorney General Smith Troy, a descendant of the pioneer Troy family. At one time Governor Mon Wallgren proposed that the state acquire the home as a guest residence, but Troy dissuaded him. It has always been in private hands.
Now walk back to 17th Ave SW and turn left.
21. 303 17th Ave SW
C.H. Springer House. One of the especially fine residences in the South Capital Neighborhood, this 1917 Georgian Revival style home has an important association with the lumber industry in Olympia.
The house was built by C. H. Springer in a design by Joseph Wohleb. Springer was born in Oregon in 1861 and came to Tumwater in 1884 where he worked at the Cooper Mill. In 1887 he started the Springer and White Mill in Olympia which was later known as the Olympia Door Company and as the Springer Mill Company. The lumber, sash and door operation was run by one Bates steam engine which boasted an enormous 20 foot diameter flywheel with 1000 horsepower. In 1935, the mill was electrified. Springer Mill Company also owned and operated what became the Acme Fuel Company, which remained in business until December 2021 when it was sold.
Mr. Springer helped organize and was president of the Olympia Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1906 and was on number of boards of directors of other financial institutions.
Springer is said to have personally selected all the lumber used in the house which is one of the finest in Olympia.
Cross Water Street to opposite corner of 17th and Water.
22. 219 17th Ave SW
Nathaniel Redpath House. One of the finest homes in Olympia, the Nathaniel & Lucy Maynard Redpath house was built in 1907 and designed by Proctor & Farell Architects. It originally stood on the south side of Sylvester Park. The house was moved to its present location in 1928.
Redpath, born in 1860 near what is now Longview but originally known as Monticello, was grandson of one of the first settlers in the area, also a doctor, Dr. Nathaniel Ostrander. Redpath studied medicine at Willamette University and Jefferson Medical College. He served as assistant superintendent of the Insane Asylum at Fort Steilacoom and later served as a prominent physician in Olympia. The house was owned for many years by Catherine Redpath Weller and R. W. Weller, who owned and operated an insurance firm in Olympia. Mr. Weller’s family were also longtime residents of Olympia who operated a fuel business locally. Listed on the Olympia Heritage Register.
First story walls are clad with shingles in alternating wide and narrow courses, and second story walls are stuccoed. A tall sandstone chimney rises on the west facade. Wide steps approach a one-story porch that wraps around the north (front) and east facades; its hip roof has a gable above the steps. The porch shelters the distinctive entry door with its Tudor-arched top and leaded glass sidelights. A gable-roofed extension projecting to the south has a glassed-in sleeping porch on its second story. A large modern addition is on the east side of the house.
Now walk south on Water Street SW
23. 1825 Water St. SW
M.C. and Bertha Eugley House. Built in ca. 1908, the property originally had two lots. The unusually designed house was copied after a house on the Rhine in Germany, according to a former owner, and was owned by the Twining family from 1935 to 1967 who used it as a rooming house.
Bertha Eugley was one of Olympia’s earliest businesswomen. She established a millinery store in Olympia in 1878 and continued in the business until after the turn of the century for 35 years.
Late nineteenth century women would not dream of going out in public without a hat, and Bertha Eugley made sure that those who could afford it had the opportunity to sport her latest elaborate creations.
Turn right (east) on 19th Ave SW
24. 222 West 19th Ave SW
Luepke / G. Noyes Talcott Jr. House. Built ca. 1915 by R. H. Luepke, who was a cashier with the Olympia Brewing Company, the house was later purchased by George Noyes Talcott Jr. (George Jr) and also owned by his son Richard Talcott.
The Talcott family owned and operated a jewelry store in Olympia for 131 years, from 1872 until 2003. George Sr. manufactured the state seal of Washington in 1889 after a design by his brother Charles Talcott. G. Noyes Talcott Jr. was unofficial city historian during his long life and has a street named for him in Olympia.
George’s Noyes Talcott Jr’s parents, George Noyes Sr. and Addie Chambers Talcott, lived around the corner in the more modest George and Addie Talcott House at 2003 Capitol Way South.
25. 215 19th Ave SW
Baude House. 1926 English Tudor Revival. Max Baude operated a barbershop in the Kneeland Hotel (403 Capitol Way S, demolished following the 1949 earthquake) patronized by legislators. “One of the town’s leading tonsorial (hairdressing) artists” according to historian Gordon Newell.
26. 121 19th Ave SW
McCoy / Trullinger House. This Craftsman with Greek Revival elements was built in 1923 by Harley Ellsworth for George and Edith McCoy. McCoy was an engineer with the State Highway Department.
Truman and Rae Becker Trullinger moved into the house in about 1927 following their marriage in 1926. They added the rear kitchen and garage section in 1949.
Truman Trullinger was an Olympia native who was a local attorney with the State Attorney General’s office and later in private practice. He served as Olympia mayor from 1941-1947. According to his daughter, Jackie Trullinger Parkhurst, the war years in Olympia were very difficult for the city with the influx of soldiers from Fort Lewis and the war effort. Truman Trullinger was the head of the local Red Cross, worked to eliminate “Little Hollywood,” a set of float houses and shacks near what is now Capitol Lake, and helped establish the State Capital Museum. Truman Trullinger died in 1979; his wife Rae Becker Trullinger lived in the house until 1997, then relocated to Seattle. She lived to the age of 104 and died in 2005.
Turn right on Columbia St. SW, walk South to just past 20th Ave SW
27. 203 20th Ave SW
Kevin-Cammarano House. This substantial Spanish colonial-style house was built in 1928 by Copeland Lumber Company for the Kevin family. Edward Kevin was a superintendent for the Port Townsend Southern Railway Company and his wife Victoria was a music teacher.
The house was later owned by Arthur and Priscilla Hutton, A. G. And Margaret Copley and for many years by the Cammarano family.
27A. 2009 Columbia St. SW
Kevin House. The small but prominent Mission Revival cottage was built in 1928 by Edward Kevin by the Copeland Lumber Co. Kevin was Superintendent of the Port Townsend Southern Railroad and his wife was a music teacher.
The Kevins built the house for their daughter. The house features a front music room.
Continue south on Columbia St. SW, turn left to walk west on 21st Ave SW.
28. 301 21st Ave SW
Bridges / Goldberg House. Built in 1923, the Bridges/Goldberg House is connected with women’s history in two ways. One of the finest homes in Olympia, it was built for Jesse Bridges, a Supreme Court justice. The design was by Elizabeth Ayers, the first female graduate of the University of Washington Architecture School. Ayers built many distinctive homes throughout Puget Sound, including the similar Westhillsyde on the other side of Capitol Lake.
Since the 1950s this was been the home of the Goldberg family. The Goldbergs were proprietors of the Goldberg’s Furniture Store downtown. They were instrumental in the formation of Temple Beth Hatfiloh. In 2004, Eva Goldberg, a strong supporter of women’s issues and historic preservation, helped lead the congregation to its new home on 8th Ave SE downtown. Mrs. Goldberg died in 2013, but in 1986 did a recorded interview that is now available via the U.W. library system.
Head back the way you just came, east toward Capitol Way.
29. 211 21st Ave SW
C.J. Lord Mansion. This mansion was built in 1923 and intended to be the most important residence in town, with the possible exception of the Governor’s Mansion (it was subsequently outshone by the nearby McCleary Mansion). It was designed by Joseph Wohleb and solidified Wohleb’s reputation as one of the premier architects of the northwest.
Clarence Lord was one of the most important figures in Olympia’s, and indeed the state’s, financial history. Founder of the Capital National Bank, he was also an investor in many other important commercial enterprises in this city, including the Olympia Knitting Mills and the trolley system, which brought electricity to Olympia.
Following Clarence Lord’s death in 1937, his wife Elizabeth Reynolds Lord, a prominent member of Olympia society who was very interested in local history and culture, donated the home to the state with the suggestion it be used for public purposes.
For many years it was the location of the State Capital Museum as well as the home of the Women’s History Consortium.
In 2018 the Washington State Legislature transferred stewardship of the Lord Mansion and Coach House to Evergreen State College. The College intends to honor the public legacy of the building, using the facility to welcome, engage, and support the greater Olympia community while also promoting the College’s mission as a uniquely vibrant local destination for teaching and learning. The building is on the national, state, and local heritage registers.
Walk to corner of 21st Ave SW at Columbia St. SW.
30. 111 21st Ave SW
McCleary Mansion. The impressive Henry McCleary House is Olympia was built between 1924 and 1925 at a cost of more than $100k. It is an exceptionally fine example of the work of the popular and prolific Olympia architect Joseph Wohleb. The house stands as a personal expression of the wealth and prestige which surrounded one of Washington’s great lumber barons.
Henry McCleary came west from his native Ohio by way of Idaho in 1890. He had come from a sawmilling family, and gained more experience and capital when he went to work cutting and milling in the area of the present day town of McCleary, Washington. The town was put on the map in 1905 when McCleary took in a partner and created what was for decades said to be the world’s largest door factory. The “company town” of McCleary then grew along with its founder’s business.
By 1941, however, the timberlands were depleted and McCleary sold the town and his lands to the Simpson Timber Company of Shelton and Olympia. Henry McCleary began a difficult retirement at the mansion in Olympia, where he died two years later in 1943. It is said that he felt uncomfortable among its European antiques (many of which are now owned by his descendents) and extravagant proportions.
Although its interior proportions have been somewhat altered, the graceful staircase, the rich and varied woodwork, the elegant windows and fireplaces are still much in evidence. The exterior remains in its original state except for the removal of a porte-cochere at the rear.
Good craftsmanship is evident everywhere, as in the copper sheathing of the hipped roof, the ornamental copper downspouts, three brick chimneys with cast stone caps, and a series of rectangular cast stone panels with inscribed geometric-floral motifs. The house is outstanding for its numerous and beautifully designed windows accented by decorative brickwork. On the ground story, most have casements with leaded, stained glass transoms. A number of windows have diamond-paned casements.
Fine interior details also demonstrate the quality of Wohleb’s design. A spacious central reception hall lined with recessed mahogany paneling dominates the first floor. Doors from the hall lead to the former living and dining rooms in the north portion of the house, and to a solarium and library in the south. The library housed McCleary’s gun collection and is said to have served him as a shooting gallery as well. Opposite the main entrance along the south wall, a graceful elliptical staircase winds to the second floor. At the landing, four arched, leaded glass windows create a gallery effect.
At McCleary’s death in 1943, the house was purchased by developers who converted it to apartments. For this conversion they turned again to Joseph Wohleb, then about 60. This apartments were unsuccessful and eventually turned into offices.
The Mansion was renovated again in 1998 by and for the Building Industry Association of Washington, which made it a home base for 20 years; BIA moved into a larger building in 2019. The mansion is again set up as offices, with a shared conference room and kitchen.
When it was built, a landscaped lawn covered the city block on which the house stands. A circular driveway once led to the porte-cochere on the south grounds. That half of the block, to the rear of the Mansion, has been paved over, and a medical office complex constructed on the site. The modern building is an intrusion which detracts considerably from the integrity of the estate. Paved parking lots on the east and west sides of the block are entered from 21st Avenue SW. Between the lots, the formal front lawn of the estate remains intact.
31. 122 21st Ave SW
Joseph Wohleb House. This surprisingly modest English revival-style home was designed by and built for Olympia’s pre-eminent architect, Joseph Wohleb in 1923. It is located in the South Capitol Neighborhood near many of the homes, both grand and modest, that Wohleb designed over his five decades of work in the city. It is directly across from his two most important commissions, the C.J. Lord Mansion and the McLeary Mansion.
Although Wohleb is best known for creating the Mission-style “look” of downtown Olympia, he was capable of designing buildings and homes in a wide range of styles and to suit a wide range of needs. He has been aptly dubbed “the man who designed the city.” In addition to many buildings downtown, several Capitol offices and buildings for Olympia Brewery, he designed 15 residences in the South Capitol Neighborhood, and was architect for the Olympia school district. Joseph Wohleb died suddenly at age 70 in 1958. His son Robert, also an architect, led the firm until his death in 1966.
Walk south on Columbia St. SW toward 22nd Ave SW
32. 119 22nd Ave SW
L.E. Dawley House. This beautifully maintained Spanish Colonial home was built by Leo “Lee” E. Dawley and Elgia Wittiwer Dawley in 1929 in a design by his brother J. M. Dawley. The Dawley brothers were local contractors who built, among others, the Capitol Park Building. Elgia Witiwer Dawley was a noted musician.
At the time it was built, the home would have had a beautiful view of the grounds of the McCleary Mansion. The modern medical building was a later is an intrusion.
Elgia’s diaries from 1921-1925 span her years teaching French and voice in New York through her marriage in 1922, followed by her travel west, arrival in Olympia and first several years here.
August 17, “were in Olympia at 11:30. I’m certainly not very keen about the looks of things.”Elgia Dawley Diaries, University of Nebraska.
September 9th, “Olympia certainly is a dead hole. I’m not a bit enthusiastic about it.”
Her opinion of the area did improve as Elgia and Lee made their home together here. However, the description over the years of Lee’s temper is en enlightening window into the choices women made in the first half of the century when confronted with their husband’s violent temper. Click the University of Nebraska link above for highlights of her evocative diary entries.
Continue on Columbia St. SW. Next home is on the right side at 24th Ave SW.
33. 2317 Columbia St. SW
Bowman / Smith House. The Bowman/Smith House is a large English Builder style brick residence. According to available information the house was built about 1927 by Jesse B. and Wava Bowman. Jesse Bowman was a local oysterman. The house has fine lumber and appointments. It was also owned by Newton and Clara Bader and Earl and Tillie Bean.
More recently, Charles and Amanda Benek Smith owned the house from 1948 until 1982. Amanda Benek Smith was Olympia’s first woman mayor and the first woman mayor of a capital city in the United States. She served in the combined role of Mayor and Commissioner of Police and Fire from 1953 to 1960. She presided over the construction of the freeway through Olympia and believed in “doing things for the little people.” She died in 1966. The house has subsequently been significantly enlarged.
Turn right on 24th Ave SW and go just a few steps to see…
34. 2405 Old Oregon Trail SW
H.L. Lewis House. One of the earlier excellent examples of a Craftsman Style bungalow, the H.L. Lewis house was built in 1911 at the far southern end of the neighborhood. Harry Lewis was an editor of the Daily Olympian as well as Thurston County auditor.
The street it faces, Old Oregon Trail, reflects the original status of this road as one of the last segments of the Oregon Trail after it crossed the Deschutes River at Tumwater and proceeded along the top of the slope leading down to the center of Olympia, where a marker at Sylvester Park notes the terminus of this leg of the trail. The street is now tucked away behind the much more heavily traveled Capitol Boulevard.
34A. 2415 Columbia St. SW
Chandler-Brown House. The Chandler/Brown House was built in the 1930s and owned initially by John and Electra Chandler. He worked for the State Treasurer. From 1935 to 1941 it was owned by Donald Webster who was a lawyer with the State Tax Commission. In 1941 it was purchased by Leland and Maude Brown. Brown was a long-time Olympia educator. A native of Iowa, he came to Olympia in 1918 to begin his educational career in Olympia which spanned 39 years. He served as High School principal and superintendent. He was active in community and educational organizations. He died in 1963.
Go back to Columbia St. SW and turn right, continuing south.
35. 2501 Columbia St. SW
Mark and Maude Wight House. Built in 1926, the Wight House is one-and-one-half-story wood frame structure of simplified English Revival style. The front facade features a tall gable offset to the north, and an adjacent wide shed-roofed dormer. The gable sweeps down over a recessed porch with an archway leading to the arched entry door.
Mark Wight was an assistant Washington State Attorney General and served as Washington State Law Librarian from 1928 to 1959.
Continue south, then turn left on 26th Ave SW
36. 110 26th Ave. SW
Morris House. This imposing colonial revival home was owned by two unrelated families named Morris. Justice George Morris built the large home, with its impressive landscaping, between 1909 and 1918.
Justice Morris was born in 1862 in Utica, New York, graduated from Albany Law School and practiced Law in New York. He was Seattle City attorney in 1891 and Superior Court Judge there from 1902 to 1909. He served on the Washington State Supreme Court from 1909 to 1918 and was chief justice from 1915 to 1916.
The house was later purchased by Mel and Irma Morris (no relation). The Morrises owned the most important ladies’ clothing store, M.M. Morris, at the corner of Washington and Fourth.
Located on a large, ornately-landscaped lot, the Morris House was built in the Colonial Revival style with Craftsman influence. The front facade features a one-story, flat-roofed porch with tapered columns, a simple molded cornice and second-story corner piers spanned by a wrought iron railing. The porch shelters the paneled entry door, which has leaded glass sidelights. Extending from the east wall is a flat-roofed porte-cochere with similar columns and cornice. Windows include single and banded double-hung sash with six-over-one lights, arched multi-paned casements in the dormers, and small quarter-round windows in the gables. The interior features a wide stairway paneled in mahogany, with a tripartite window at the landing. At the rear of the house is a detached double garage of similar design, with paneled, side-hinged doors. The house is unaltered from the original and is maintained in excellent condition.
37. 2601 Capitol Way
Joseph Speckart House. Built in 1910-12 by Joe Speckart, who was married to a member of the Schmidt family and worked at their Olympia brewery.
Like other homes in the area owned by Schmidt family members, the home would have had a view over the Deschutes River and the brewery at the bottom of the gully below the house.
Built by Speckart himself with the help of Pete Faber and Gus Lorentzen, the house was later owned by Doane Brodie. Unique interior woodwork, light fixtures and cabinetry such as a schoolroom/playroom make the house historically important.
37A. 2420 Capitol Way S.
Dalquest-Gallagher House. Built for John O. Dalquest who worked for Capitol City Creamery, whose wife was a socialite covered frequently in the society pages of “The Morning Olympian.”
Another resident of the house was Walter L. Whiting, a former general manager of the Olympia Knitting Mills and violin teacher. He died at age 43 from a “long illness” while living in this house.
Subsequently Phil H. Gallagher lived in the house from the late 1930s to the late 1940s. A graduate of Gonzaga school of law, Gallagher became the youngest state treasurer at age 30 in 1936. In 1948 he was appointed state attorney general, and in 1956 he was elected state representative from the 33rd District.
Walk north and cross Capitol Way at crosswalk at 24th Ave. Then turn right.
38. 2604 Capitol Way
J. Grant Hinkle House. This relatively modest Craftsman/Foursquare style house at the far southern end of the neighborhood was the long-time home of Secretary of State J. Grant Hinkle and his wife Irene.
At the time it was built in about 1920, it would have been a long, tedious commute from this distant home on the edge of town to the old State Capitol Building at Sylvester Park. On the other hand, Capitol Way was paved, and the current Legislative Building was in process of construction: by the time Hinkle finished his long service as Secretary of State in 1933, he had the opportunity to move into his offices on the much closer Capitol campus.
Turn around and walk north on Capitol Way. Turn right on 25th Ave SE
39. 205 25th Ave SE
Ossian Anderson House. This distinguished English Builder Style House was built ca. 1926 for Ossian Anderson, one of six Anderson brothers who came from Sweden to found the Tumwater Lumber Mills (TLM) pre-cut house building firm. Ossian was the third brother to arrive; he came to Seattle in 1910. He settled in Olympia in joined with his brothers in the Tumwater Ready Cut (TRC) Homes business in 1922. Ossian married Mable Anderson in 1916. Shortly after the home was built, the Andersons moved up to Bellingham to take care of the other Anderson Brothers interests in the pulp mill industry.
This house perhaps the largest and finest example of the English Builder Style in the city. There is a story that this house was built as a show house for the pre-cut homes. It remains in wonderful condition and is among the prettiest homes in the neighborhood.
Walk north on Washington Street toward 24th Ave SE.
40. 121 24th Ave SE
Hart Dawley House. Built in 1923 by Lee Dawley, a contractor who lived in the neighborhood (tour #32), this house was purchased in 1925 by Louis Hart, governor of Washington from 1919 to 1925.
Hart was born in Missouri in 1862 and later admitted to the bar in 1884. He moved to Washington in 1889 first settling in Snohomish and later in Republic. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1912 and 1916. He was acting governor during Governor Ernest Lister’s illness and succeeded him in 1919. He was elected governor in his own right in 1920.
Other prominent owners were A. C. Baker, Harold Smyth and John Lynch.
The Dawley House is an elongated, one-and-one-half-story brick masonry structure, built in restrained English Revival style. The gable roof is broken by a center gable on the front (north) facade, and flanking gabled dormers, and by two similar dormers at the rear. The first storey features an archway over the arched door and narrow multi-paned casements in groups of three with brick sills, and the second storey is lit by small multi-paned windows. The Palladian section of the windows were restored in 1980s. Behind the house is a garage of similar design, restored in 2021.
This tour was put together using a variety of materials that have been published in the past, in print and online. The route was developed as a printed South Capitol Walking tour, and older photos were gathered by the Olympia Historical Society. Most descriptions come from those two sources plus the Olympia Heritage Inventory, which was part of the Historic Register application. (The complete Historic Register application has a good deal more detail and is available as a PDF here.)
If you have corrections, additional stories, details or photos from these homes (including interiors), please drop a note to our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.