Name: William Furlong House
Year Built: 1875
Location: 704 Lawrence Street
Area: Uptown Port Townsend

William Furlong and his wife, Hannah, lived in this house from 1877 to 1916; he was a Port Townsend policeman and also owned a cigar store from 1891 to 1909. He was appointed chief of police in 1889, and worked as a gardener and caretaker in Chetzemoka Park in later years. He died in 1927.

John and Lois Thompson bought the house in 1989. In 1991 they received an award for the work they had done on the house's exterior. The first phase of their restoration included a complete new foundation and roof, addition of a basement, repair of the front porch, and new exterior paint. While working on the backyard they found brass buttons emblazoned with the letter "P" in the old privy hole, along with numerous whiskey, beer, and Vaseline bottles. The Thompsons believe that the buttons may have come from Furlong's police uniform.

The interior is a work in progress. Since the house had been used as a rental for many years, and had been divided into two flats during the 1930s, there was a great deal of abuse, neglect, and botched remodeling to correct. Plaster walls had to be removed down to bare studs, and shored up or replaced. Insulation was torn out and brought up to current standards. Plumbing and wiring were in sad condition. Dry rot and water damage were extensive.

The Thompsons found that the house was actually two houses joined together. The front portion, built with posts and beams, originally had a lean-to kitchen. Later on the lean-to kitchen was replaced with an even older house, built with lapped construction. Square nails, out of use since the turn of the century, are found in both portions of the house.

Notable features of the house include original floors, some wavy and bubbled window panes from the last century, several restored period ceiling lighting fixtures, original woodwork in the living room, and wainscotting in the breakfast area. The steep narrow staircase is original, and chalk marks found on its underside indicate that it came prefabricated and was assembled on site. Interesting exterior touches include the front porch posts and railing, made by Thompson, and the basement doors, which came from the old Port Townsend Lincoln School.

But the most remarkable features of the Furlong House are the skill, dedication, and hard work that the owners have poured into its restoration.

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.

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