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Summary for 321 NW 42ND ST NW / Parcel ID 7442000050 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: J.E. Welch House Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1908
This appears to be a generally well-preserved hipped cottage; it is a good example of modest working class house types that were prevalently constructed by building contractors and carpenters during this era. It is one of four well-preserved hipped cottages that are clustered on this block and all constructed between 1906 and 1908. It was constructed in ca.1908 and the design and historic building fabric is somewhat similar to one of the other nearby cottages. It is located in the Ross Addition, one of the earliest settled and platted residential areas in Fremont. Among the earliest Euro-American settlers in the Fremont area were John Ross and his wife Mary Jane who appear to have settled in Washington Territory and the Salmon Bay area by the late 1850s. Notes taken by the Government Land Office in January 1856 indicate that the Ross homestead was located along the south side of the Outlet, which also became known as Ross Creek. The 1870 U.S. Census recorded that their family included five children and John Ross worked as a millwright. The original Ross School opened in 1873 when Mary Jane Ross decided that her children needed to be educated closer to home rather than having to be boarded “in town” during school sessions. She set up a classroom in a vacant second floor room in the family house and hired a teacher. Students came from the north side of Queen Anne Hill and the northern shore of Lake Union. In the early 1880s the Ross family, which by then included seven children, moved to the north side of the Outlet near Third Avenue NW and NW 41st Street. By then at least eleven families and many school-age children lived in the Salmon Bay area. The geographic area became known as Ross and eventually included a station of the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern Railway line. After relocating to the north, John and Mary Ross donated land for the construction of a two-room schoolhouse built at Third Ave. NW and NW 43rd Street. [This schoolhouse was eventually replaced in 1902-3 by a new eight-room, wood-frame model plan school building that served the community until 1940. The site is now known as Ross Playfield.] In January 1888, the Ross Addition was recorded by H.T. Scott and his wife Elsie H. Scott of San Francisco. In May 1888, they recorded the Ross 2nd Addition. It is believed these tracts encompassed most of the original Ross homestead area. M.J. Ross retained ownership of a 7-acre parcel a short distance to the west of the subject property. Specific circumstances regarding the construction and original ownership of this residence have not been identified. The immediate geographic area appears to have remained only sparkly developed by 1905, possibly due to uncertainty regarding the construction of the nearby Government Canal. This house is believed to have been constructed c.1908. Mr. J.E. Welch is the earliest identified owner according to a permit for the construction of a fence and chicken shed that was issued in 1911. Mrs. Lena Matzen (widow Peter) is the earliest known tenant/resident. She appears to have resided there with (possibly) her son John M. Matzen c. 1911-1912. No biographical information has been obtained regarding these individuals. This house is worthy of additional research. It is somewhat similar in plan and design to the residence at 411 NW 42nd St.
Located mid-block on the south side of N. 42nd St. with main elevation oriented to the north. One story, wood-frame, single family residence. Measures approx. 24’ x 44’ w/ concrete foundation and partial basement level. Low-sloped, hipped roof cottage. Clad with narrow horizontal cedar siding without corner boards that appears to be original cladding material. Cutaway porch at east end of main elevation. Square bay window at east side of main elevation includes cottage windows with ornate leaded glass upper sash. Hipped dormer with ornate multi-pane window at main elevation. Original double-hung wooden windows appear to remain in place. Intact original or matching porch elements include slender tapered column on wing wall and ornate entry window.

Detail for 321 NW 42ND ST NW / Parcel ID 7442000050 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Wood - Clapboard Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Hip Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition-Shingle
Building Type: Domestic - Single Family Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Balloon Frame/Platform Frame No. of Stories: one
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Interior: Unknown
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Sanborn (Insurance) Map Company, Seattle, Washington.
Baist Map of 1905, 1908 and 1912
City of Seattle DPD Microfilm Records.

Photo collection for 321 NW 42ND ST NW / Parcel ID 7442000050 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jun 23, 2009
App v2.0.1.0