Orear HouseName: Newton W. O'Rear
Year Built: c. 1891-1906
Location: 1932 Washington St.
Area: Uptown Port Townsend

This lovely Victorian was built in 1891 as a carriage house with attached windmill for the F.W. Hastings (The Old Consulate Inn) home. Originally the building faced Jefferson Street at the corner of Walker. In the early 1900s, when the Hastings property was sold for back taxes, C.A. Olson purchased the buildings and six lots on the block. He kept the Hastings house but sold the carriage house and the two lots where the house now sits to Newton O'Rear, a former editor of the Port Townsend "Leader" and a Custom's Inspector at the time of the property's purchase.

By 1906, Mr. O'Rear had the carriage house turned 180 degrees, and moved to its new location on Washington Street. The tower's Mansard roof was the original windmill's water tower. A tank sat in the top, with the windmill's mechanism going through what is now the entry hall and master bedroom. O'Rear had the structure converted into a seven-room residence with three bedrooms. The interior is finished with mostly Craftsman details of the 1906 period. The tower space, then, as now, was used as attic storage. The house originally had gas lighting, two wood stoves but no fireplaces.

The two back upstairs bedrooms were the original hay loft, with the stable directly below in what became the kitchen in 1906. The dining room is where the carriages entered, and the original tack rooms became the front parlor.

The current owners have just completed an eight year restoration done in four major phases that added a new gable with a master bath, and an expanded kitchen. Everything that could be restored was salvaged and reused, including old wavy glass, hardware, lumber, and even the basement steps which became counter tops in the restored pantry. All the new spaces duplicate the details of the original period. Projects still remain to be done, but the interior is nearly complete and houses a forty year collection of antiques and memorabilia.

The home was honored with the Washington State Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rehabilitation in 2004 and was featured on the cover of the June 2004 Old House Journal magazine.

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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