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Originally published Friday, December 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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The little house that stood; Seattle, ca. 1918

After Port Ludlow millman Hiram Burnett built this six-room home during the winter of 1865, he and his wife moved to Seattleso their children would be near the university.

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I love that fire hydrant is still there.... not much else is the same in the two images. MORE
Thank you for a good and interesting article. One minor correction: on the second photo... MORE


LAST FALL, Jean Sherrard and I gave one of our "repeat photography" presentations to the Seattle Surgical Society at the Rainier Club. Timing our show with the dessert, we featured this apt subject, which includes part of the club, as a sweet surprise. While showing the "then" photo, we explained that we were all gathered on the approximate site of this pioneer home, which the Rainier Club later razed for the 1929 enlargement of its quarters on this northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street.

During our time with the surgeons we didn't talk about the history of this modest home. We didn't know it. But now, with the help of frequent contributor Ron Edge, we discovered that three generations of Burnetts lived there. The subject appeared in The Seattle Times on June 2, 1918, and was headlined "It's Seattle's Oldest Home Built 53 years ago."

After Port Ludlow millman Hiram Burnett built this six-room home during the winter of 1865, he and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Seattle so their two children would be near the university. After Elizabeth and Hiram's son, Charles, graduated and married, "he took his bride to live in the little house." The couple's son, Charles Jr., served a term on the Seattle City Council and recalled that his grandfather said all the wood for the Seattle home (including the spruce siding) was cut at his Port Ludlow mill; he then "sent the pieces up here and merely put them together."

During his visit to the "oldest home" in 1918, the unnamed Times reporter was pleased to note that for a rental of $12.50 a month it "houses a force of industrious Italians who turn out plaster of paris reproductions of the famous art works of their native land."

Check out Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard's blog at

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