Name: Dr. Lee Baker House
Year Built: 1898
Location: 905 Franklin Street
Area: Uptown Port Townsend
This handsome bed and breakfast inn has a commanding view of downtown Port Townsend and the harbor. The current owners have done extensive renovations to the house since they bought it in 1979. One of their first projects was the veranda, which wraps around three sides of the house. The Victorian garden is their most recent project. A fish pond with raised seating and a water fountain statue enhance the courtyard garden.
Baker arrived in Port Townsend from Nebraska in the 1800s. A dentist by profession, he ventured into business with Ed Sims, with whom he built a cannery. He also owned several large canneries on Puget Sound and in Alaska. The local cannery was eventually destroyed by fire. Baker remained an active community participant until moving to Seattle in 1905.
Baker and his wife, Adelaide, were the first residents of this house. Adelaide's father, Thomas M. Hammond, was a native of Ireland. He is recognized as one of the first 10 settlers to take a donation claim in the city of Port Townsend. Sarah Hammond, Adelaide's mother, was a native of New York. She bore 12 children and lived to the age of 81.
Little is known about subsequent owners of the house. However, a guest of the current owners remembers visiting his grandmother, Ida Plummer Terry, there in about 1922. We know that Ida's husband, Fred M. Terry, was a dairyman, farmer, contractor, and superintendent of the Port Townsend Electric Street Railway, and Puget Power and Light Company. He also brought the first locomotive engine to the Olympic Peninsula, which was used to grade city streets.
The current owners raised the house, built a full basement, and changed the heating system from hot air to hot water. They also revised the electrical system, replaced the roof, chimney, windows, and doors, and removed aluminum siding. They saved as much original wood trim and as many doors as possible.
They created the Victorian garden, but the exquisite Queen Elizabeth rose bush and numerous other rose bushes are from the past. Visitors to the Baker House are invited to enjoy the pleasure of the courtyard garden with its fragrant scent of roses and the trickling sounds of water.
Data modified from the National Register of Historic Places, the former Victorian Festival Heritage Home Tour, property owners and other sources. All material copyrighted by PTguide.com.