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Summary for 411 NW 42ND ST NW / Parcel ID 7442000035 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: Pontius B. & Inga M. Nelson House Common Name:
Style: Vernacular Neighborhood: Fremont
Built By: Year Built: 1906
This is a distinctive and 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.1906 and the design and historic building fabric are very 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.1906. Pontus B. Nelson is the earliest known owner. He was born in Sweden and immigrated to the U.S. in 1893, arriving in Seattle with his wife Inga M. in 1901 by way of Colorado. He worked as a hod carrier and plasterer and is believed to have resided nearby and/or at this address for 55 years [per obit. Seattle Times, September 5, 1960]. Polk’s Seattle City Directory began to list him at this address in 1911. Prior to that time, the family appears to have resided nearby at 333 NW 42nd St. It is not known if Mr. Nelson played a role in the construction of the house. This house is worthy of additional research. It is very similar in plan and design to the residence at 403 NW 42nd St.; they appear to have been built at the same time by the same developer.
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. 22’ x 40’ w/ concrete foundation and basement. Low-sloped, hipped roof cottage with slightly projecting 10’ wide hipped wings (at east and west elevations). Clad with narrow horizontal cedar siding without corner boards that appears to be original cladding material. Cutaway porch at west end of main elevation. Cottage window with ornate leaded glass upper sash at main elevation and front of east side. Wide hipped dormer with set of ornate glass windows at main elevation. Original double-hung wooden windows appear to remain in place. Original exposed rafter ends have been removed and/or covered by modern gutters. Intact original or matching porch elements include slender tapered columns on wing walls. Intact original small central brick chimney remains in place.

Detail for 411 NW 42ND ST NW / Parcel ID 7442000035 / 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
Seattle Public Library – Biographical Index File
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Polk's Seattle Directories, 1890-1996.
Sanborn (Insurance) Map Company, Seattle, Washington.
Baist Maps of 1905, 1908 and 1912.

Photo collection for 411 NW 42ND ST NW / Parcel ID 7442000035 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Jun 23, 2009
App v2.0.1.0