The Oldest House in Washington Still Stands Strong After 175 Years
Washington State has a rich history. It became the forty-second state of the United States of America on November 11, 1889. However, the first European settlers appeared as early as the 1770s. Interestingly though, the oldest building in Washington State was built in 1848. Are you ready to learn more about it? Follow along to discover the oldest house in Washington.
What is the Oldest House in Washington?
Believe it or not, the oldest house in Washington State still stands after more than 175 years. The oldest house in the state is the Historic Covington House, a cabin in Vancouver, Washington. Richard and Charlotte “Anna” Covington built this home in 1848.
About the Historic Covington House
The original owners of the Historic Covington House, Richard and Charlotte “Anna” Covington, were English-born teachers and musicians, at Fort Vancouver. The Hudson’s Bay Company hired the two musicians to teach the children of Fort Vancouver. The cabin served as a home and a boarding school. Children learned, ate, and slept in the cabin.
The cabin was also known for being a social spot for musicians and music lovers. For instance, a common and known visitor of the Historic Covington House was Ulysses S. Grant. Through the years, this historic building has had many different uses. At one point, it was a shelter for animals. Now, the city of Vancouver owns the home and land, although the Covington House Heritage Society operates it. It’s open for special events like weddings, family reunions, and more. You can also visit this historic home during the monthly Open Houses.
Other Incredible National Historic Landmarks (NHL) in Washington
According to the National Parks Service, Washington State is home to at least 24 National Historic Landmarks (NHL). You can visit many of these incredible locations, not just the oldest house in Washington. Follow along to discover other Washington State National Historic Landmarks (NHL).
Fort Nisqually Granary
An incredible Washington State National Historic Landmark is the Fort Nisqually Granary in Tacoma. It’s the oldest surviving building in the state, built in 1843. The fort was an important fur trading and farming post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It’s been moved from its original site to the park. You can visit this living history museum in Point Defiance Park. Fort Nisqually Granary was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on April 15, 1970, and designated as an NHL.
Another NHL in Washington is the Longmire Buildings in Mount Rainier National Park. They sit on less than an acre of land and are three buildings, the Longmire Community Building of 1927, the Administration Building of 1928, and the Longmire Service Station of 1929.
The Longmire Community Building of 1927 was the first building built on the site. This unique T-shaped building has a large community room about 60 feet long and 30 feet wide.
The Administration Building of 1928 is the largest of the three buildings. It’s a two-story building, that functioned as an administration building for years until the construction of a new headquarters just outside the park’s boundaries.
Last but not least is the Longmire Service Station of 1929, the youngest of the buildings. It’s a small rustic-style building previously used to provide gasoline and basic services to park visitors. The Longmire Buildings were added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on May 28, 1987.
Next on our list is the Paradise Inn, also in Mount Rainier National Park. This large lodging building is still used but is only open during the summer season. The inn opened on July 1, 1917, and had thirty-seven guest rooms. The dining room was cozy, accommodating up to 400 people. This unique inn sits on the south slope of Mount Rainier. It was renovated in 2006 and opened back up in May 2008. Paradise Inn was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
San Juan Island National Historical Park
Last but not least is the San Juan Island National Historical Park. It’s a great place to enjoy the summer and learn more about the Pig War, a boundary dispute over the ownership of the island. Throughout the park are sites of British and U.S. Army camps. Although first settled over 11,000 years ago, the first European settlers came to the island in the 1700s. They brought smallpox, which devastated the local population. This historical park has a surface area of 2,141 acres. It’s been a National Historical Landmark since 1961.