Don't forget to check out the rest of our 2013 Most Endangered List!
To see more photos, go to our Haller House set on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/washingtontrust/sets/72157633771612152/
Every year, many historic properties across the state of Washington are threatened by demolition or neglect. Collectively, these properties contribute to the quality of life we enjoy and shape the daily experiences of living in small towns, large cities and rural countryside across the state. It is an understatement to say that our historic resources help to paint a distinct Washington portrait, and it is certainly no overstatement to conclude that their loss would leave large gaps in that canvas.
Unlike most of Coupeville's early settlers, Colonel Granville Haller was neither a farmer nor involved in maritime commerce. He was a career military man who fought in the second Seminole War in Florida, the Mexican-American War, the Indian Wars on Puget Sound of the 1850s, the "Pig War" on San Juan Island and in the Civil War. Relieved of duty following the Battle of Gettysburg (allegedly for making dismissive comments of Lincoln's handling of the war effort) Haller returned to Puget Sound, settling on Whidbey Island. In 1866, he moved to downtown Coupeville and constructed the Haller House: a two-story Georgian structure connected to an existing one-story house of plank construction already present on the site. Haller sold the house in 1879, opting to relocate once again, this time to Seattle. For the next 125 years, the house served as a private residence but witnessed very few alterations. The plan is primarily intact, as are many of the finishes, providing a rare glimpse into mid-19th century domestic life. The last residents left in 2006 and the house is currently on the real estate market. Though designation as a landmark within the Central Whidbey Island Historic District may offer protection for the exterior appearance of the Haller House, occupancy codes will compel any buyer to make significant alterations to the interior. Fearing a loss of historic integrity, residents of Whidbey Island formed the Friends of the Haller House. Their goal is to acquire the house and ultimately help tell the story of the Civil War's impact on the northwest.