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Tonight, another look at an old Puget Ridge farmhouse that apparently sparked a fair amount of curiosity and imagination last weekend, after we published a photo Mike Gerber took during the St. Patrick’s Day snow showers. He sent three more photos this weekend and explained:
A surprising number of people asked for some additional information on the old house in the photo you ran last Saturday. Here’s a better angle of it. As for it being the oldest orchard house in Seattle, there’s very little in the historical record about this particular section of West Seattle and so it’s difficult to date it.
The area was covered in enormous old growth forest prior to the 1870’s, and the very valuable and spectacular trees were cut and turned into a hodgepodge of small farms and orchards and over the next 20 years. The construction is consistent with that era and it would seem logical that the trees growing closest to Elliott Bay would be the first to go.
I also met a wonderful and very credible old guy a number of years ago who had lived next to the orchard at one time. He said the house had been built in the 1880s, but that it had been vacant since the Depression.
During the construction of our home we came across four piles of very old lumber that turned out to be the collapsed remnants of small shacks, probably where orchard workers once lived. Under one of them we found two perfectly persevered ‘skat’ playing cards that were made in Germany in the early 1900s, where many of the workers came from.
Skat is considered the national game there and is played everywhere.
It would be interesting to know if any other readers have anything to add to the history of this relatively little-known area.
The location is described in the comment section following last weekend’s story.
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