Home Page
Link to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods home page

Seattle Historical Sites

New Search

Summary for 7334 Ravenna AVE / Parcel ID 7177300235 / Inv #

Historic Name: Swanson Farmhouse Common Name: Swanson Farmhouse
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: North District
Built By: Year Built: 1903
In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
The Swanson Farmhouse was constructed about 1903. Swedish born Swan Swanson (b. ca 1883), apparently moved to Seattle by 1902 at the age of 19 or 20. In November 1902, Swan and his wife Lotta purchased property along Ravenna Avenue and probably constructed their house within a year, completing it perhaps as late as 1904. The 1905 King County Assessment Rolls assessed improvements (i.e. buildings) on the property. Swan Swanson was a carpenter so he probably built the house. At the time the house was built this area was still part of King County and would not be annexed to Seattle until 1945. Although listings in the Seattle Polk Directories are incomplete outside of the city limits, 1907 is the earliest directory listing for Swanson living along Ravenna. The directory listed Swanson as a rancher who raised dairy cows. He probably hauled the milk in horse drawn wagons eight blocks to the Ravenna streetcar that ran along 14th Avenue (renamed University Way). This is one of the few farm houses that remain within the current city limits of the city. In 1908 the Swansons moved to Calgary, Alberta where they lived for 12 years before returning to Seattle. At the time the house was built, Ravenna Avenue was part of the main road that ran from Lake Union to Bothell. In the early 1900s, there were only three or four roads that ran north of 85th between Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Later occupants. By 1909 dairy farmers Harridon (ca 1860-ca 1922) and Kathryn (b. ca 1866) Cheever moved in and remained there until the early 1920s. The Cheevers met in Illinois, married in 1884, and had four sons and a daughter before they left Illinois for the west in the early 1900s. By 1906 they lived in Seattle and three years later Harridon Cheever purchased the dairy. The seven member Cheever family plus Kathryn’s sister Eleanor Long moved into the farmhouse. After Harridon’s 1922 death, widow Kathryn Cheever constructed a smaller house next door and moved into it in 1924. In the late 1940s Clyde J. Berry lived in the house. In 1954, Seattle Transit Company bus driver Lyman J. Bunney and wife Lucille R. lived in the house. At the time of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, James A. and Janice J. Aikens rented the house for about $75.00 per month. James Aikens was a West Coast Airlines pilot. This is one of the few legitimate farmhouses that exist within the city limits of Seattle. The residence appears to meet City of Seattle Landmark criteria due to the age of the structure (over 100 years old) and minimal alterations.
The vernacular one and a half story Swanson Farmhouse was constructed about 1903. A hip dormer is located on the south elevation of the front gable house. A full width porch on the east elevation with turned posts supporting a hip porch roof. A bay window is located on the north elevation. West elevation has a 9 x 19 foot rear addition.

Detail for 7334 Ravenna AVE / Parcel ID 7177300235 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Shingle, Wood - Drop siding Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Gable Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Irregular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one & ½
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Agriculture
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Sanborn Map Company. Insurance Maps of Seattle, Washington. (New York, Sanborn Map Company, 1929-1930) Volumes 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
"Swan P. Swanson" [obituary] Seattle Post-Intelligencer May 29, 1966 p. 12
"Swan P. Swanson, 83" [obituary] Seattle Times May 30, 1966 p. 43

Photo collection for 7334 Ravenna AVE / Parcel ID 7177300235 / Inv #

Photo taken Nov 23, 2004
App v2.0.1.0