Since its founding more than 125 years ago, Yakima has been the cultural, business, educational, health services, and governmental focal point of the Central Washington region. Since that time, it has grown from its original agricultural roots to become a vibrant, diverse metropolitan city. As a result, many buildings have come and gone in the community. However, luckily a few historic houses still remain standing, reminding us of how far Yakima has come as a city and preserving our marks in history. Step into the past with a look at these historic houses in Yakima.
1811 W. Yakima Ave.
One of the finest homes built in Yakima, an excellent example of the estate grounds of the late 1890s, is the Rosedell Mansion on Yakima Avenue. It was built by A.E. Larson and his wife Rose, with construction spanning from 1905 until 1909. Built in Neo-Classic Architecture, the mansion sits upon one and a half-acre of park-like grounds and was built with sandstone from Rim Rock and various hardwoods. The finished structure featured a ballroom, many bedrooms including servants’ quarters, a huge dining room and parlor, a basement kitchen, butler’s pantry, carriage entrance, three bathrooms, and more.
After completion, the Larson family lived on the property until 1945, when Rose passed away. The mansion and grounds had been willed to the city of Yakima for the express purpose of turning the house into a city art gallery after Rose’s death. Instead, the city sold the mansion and used the money toward the creation of The Larson Art Gallery at Yakima Valley Community College. Eventually, the house was bought by Holli Radke and her husband in 2006, who then turned the property into a local destination bed and breakfast spot.
William Brackett House
2606 Tieton Dr.
What was originally located on 80 acres of orchards and farmland back in 1917 but has since been subdivided and now remains on a three-quarter acre lot is the E. William Brackett House. It was built in 1917 for E. William Bracket himself, a prominent local citizen who was a pioneer of irrigation in the Yakima Valley. He had served as one of the founding Presidents of the Natchez-Cowyche Ditch Company, which is now known today as the Naches-Cowiche Canal Company, between 1894 and 1897. He was also involved in the civic development of Yakima, founding the Nob Hill Grange and eventually donating 18 acres to the City of Yakima to create Franklin Park. Brackett happily lived out the rest of his life in the home until his death in 1950, and his wife lived there until she died in 1972. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 and has been a community pillar ever since.
Edgar Rock Lodge
380 Old Naches Rd.
The Edgar Rock Lodge is one of the more rustic houses in Yakima, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Built in 1904, the Edgar Rock Lodge was initially used as a stopping point on the road over Chinook Pass to Bumping Lake. Back then, prospector Dick Darlington was working as a cook on the dam project at the lake, and the lodge was being used as one of several way stations for supplies brought to the remote dam site by horse and wagon. Darlington helped with the construction and named the lodge after a nearby rock formation. To this day, the lodge still stands as a unique example of vertical log construction in the Yakima community.
2 Chicago Ave.
One of Yakima Valley’s most successful business owners, Elizabeth Carmichael, was behind creating the historic Carmichael-Loudon House, built between 1917 and 1919. In 1884 she and her husband moved to Yakima Valley to follow her brother-in-law, John Loudon, who owned a ranch in the Cowiche area. Shortly after their arrival, her husband died in 1885 when she was expecting her third child. Afterward, Elizabeth and her children moved to Yakima City, where she opened a successful mercantile store until she remarried and moved with her new husband to California.
After being widowed again in 1899, Elizabeth and her sons returned to Yakima, where she bought 150 acres and began raising dairy cows and selling their milk and butter. She made her fortune establishing what became the Maid O’Clover Creamery, and in 1900, she opened the first of three stores in the city and began constructing the grand house that still stands today. Her creamery was the first in the region, but her house was also the first home in the area to be built using an impressive sandstone structure, unlike most wood-frame houses in the city. The home stayed in the family until 1966.
Of course, these aren’t the only houses in the area preserving our communities history. Homes like the Carbonneau Mansion, Rupert Card House, Cornell Farmstead, and James Gleed Barn still stand today as testaments of how Yakima has evolved into the vibrant oasis we enjoy today.