Old Houses

H-1-Schmidt-HouseI love old houses and having one was, and note the ‘was’, on my life to-do list. They call them bucket lists now. The first book I wrote, I titled “This Old House” and my publisher changed it to “This Old House Love Comes Home”. A reader commented that the house was like one of the characters. That house was as close as I’ll get to having one of my own.

I enjoy touring historic homes but have found that there is only a portion open to the public most of the times. Not so last week. I had the privilege of touring the Schmidt Mansion in Tumwater Washington. It was the home of the founder of the Olympia Brewery. Maybe you remember the slogan “It’s The Water.”

It was an experience of a lifetime as the caretaker that started work there at seventeen, led the tour. He had wonderful nostalgic stories, even a ghost one. And, we saw the whole house. Some of the rooms are used as archives, some have offices, but he told us what they had originally been with such vivid detail that we could step back in time.

I took the picture of the front porch and the caretaker who conducted our tour is on the left. The house and family was a career and from his stories, there was never a dull moment. image-29

There’s a virtual tour and history of the house and family on the website. image-30

15 responses to “Old Houses

  1. That looks like a lovely place to visit! I may have to check that out on one of my trips up north.

    • The grounds are always open but the house is only open for tours a couple of time a month. Still if at all possible its well worth the time and then there is always the Falls Terrace for lunch.

  2. Yep, it’s a great old house. I loved touring it. Thanks for going back there so I could see it. I wish there had been an official tour that day so I could hear the stories, but you knew quite a few of them. I know what you mean about touring pieces of history like this. It’s interesting. 🙂

    • I enjoyed going back with you and Mark and Jillian. You have some great old homes up your way too. Funny how I can go to Virginia City and tour homes and completely miss the ones in my area.

  3. Such a great house. I was lucky enough to see it with a few awesome friends (wink, wink)- Thanks for sharing it with us!! Jillian

  4. Valerie J. Patterson

    Very nice! I love old homes and especially those filled with history. Sounds like you gals had a grand time touring, too!

  5. Very cool I should have been with you. What do you have open next week.

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Truly gorgeous house. How lucky to be shown around by someone with the caretaker’s experience of its past glories. Really special.

    • It was a wonderful experience. All 3 of the people that take care of the house are special. You can ‘feel’ their love of the place. But the caretaker especially as you can see that his heart is in that house.

  7. How wonderful and how luck you were with the guides. I’ve just taken the virtual tour – what a fantastic house and setting. Love it. 🙂

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