224 Cedar Street

Some houses are iconic for a family.  Often they are houses that aren’t grand necessarily, but are places where life has been interestingly lived.  There is such a house for the Hull family.  It’s in Wallace, Idaho, a place totally unlike anyplace I’ve been…a place out of the big box-internet-fast food-stream of modern life.

Wallace in the winter

It was a mining camp to start, rough and tumble.  It grew with mining commerce, supplies, services (it still had 5 houses of prostitution on my first visit…cozily called “rooms”).  It was decimated by the 1910 forest fire called “The Big Burn” (DO consider reading Timothy Egan’s terrific book called “The Big Burn”…just a mile or two up King Street from the Hull house was the famous Pulaski Tunnel).  The fire roared over Moon pass from Avery, blasted into Wallace from the east and destroyed about one third of the town.

Here’s Ed Pulaski outside the tunnel where he and his crew took the shelter that saved their lives…

Pulaski

 

…and here is Wallace after the fire.  The movie “The Big Burn will show on OPB channel 10 in Oregon this Tuesday, February 3, at 9:00 p.m. with lots of photos and details.

Wallace after the fire

Luckily, though, it didn’t destroy this house, built in 1890.  These two photos were taken in 1894…224-1890-1

We know from left to right in this picture are Helen Campbell (Powell), Mrs. Henry White, Mrs. George Trask, Mrs. A.B. Campbell, Mrs. Slawson, and Mrs. Mason…(if I had to guess I think I’d say it was Mrs. Campbell’s house…)

224'1890-2

and here’s the house a decade later with cement sidewalks and mature plantings.

224...before remodel

In the late 1920’s or early 1930’s the house was purchased by R’s grandparents Elizabeth Piatt Hull and Harold J. Hull…

224...HJ & Bess 1935

and the family story goes that Grandmother wanted to make a few changes which included the front roof line in order to add a much bigger wrap around porch, and the finishing of the third floor and adding windows there…

224...vintage snow

224...vintage snow 2

224 after remodel

The grandparents lived in the house until 1963 and it was the scene of many gatherings of the young grandchildren… Hull cousins in the kitchen cousins in the diningroom

224...Christmas with HJ & Bess

in 1963 the grandparents moved to an apartment, and R’s parents bought the house.  Here’s Christmas of 1963 or 1964…(Carolyn, Jonathan, R, Melissa, Jennifer and Chris.)

Hull Christmas 1964

I arrived on the scene in 1970 and we went up to Wallace twice a year for a couple of decades.  R, Z and I always stayed on the third floor…224-3rd floor windows

224 windows

and I somewhat shyly roamed the house with my camera only once…

224...2nd floor bathroom

224...kitchen

(Here’s Jo Darling who used to come help R’s Mom…)

224 kitchen with Jo Darling

After R’s parents died in 1994 the house was eventually sold…we all went back a time or two, but in the summer of 1995 we had to say goodbye…

porch with plantings

and by 2009 it was still a nice house, but lacked the Hull touch…(and that great red roof)

porch 2009

 

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for the perfect illustrated story-telling of this wonderful house and its place in history and your lives. I’m now so interested to watch “The Big Burn” for further background. Perhaps read the book. But none will surpass your personal presentation of this house as a vital entity through time.

  2. extraordinary post, bonnie. we chose to put our studio work aside last night and watch that documentary. what a riveting piece of journalism and historical record. we nearly teared up at the heroism of those men, the unsung buffalo soldiers and ed pulaski, a man of the earth. such integrity and courage in the face of an insurmountable catastrophe! your story of the hull house, which miraculously survived that conflagration, and the pictures of the happy children, are a delight. it must have been difficult to give up a house with so much history.

  3. For forty years I’ve thought of you in Wallace, but never knew! What a beautiful history; it will stay with me forever…along with the great crease in Grandpa’s pants and the wonderful shoes on both of them! Superb, Bon!

      1. I am trying to locate a copy of the photo from 1894. My clients just purchased this beautiful home at 224 Cedar St. in Wallace and I would love to have it framed as a gift! If anyone can help me to make this happen, I will gladly purchase a copy!

      2. Bonnie, If you would please e-mail me at rachel.moore@kw.com, I would be so grateful! The new owners are such great folks and I would really love to give them a copy of the 1894 photo of the home as a gift!

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