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Tour and Tea at Town
 Founder's Second Home
Photos by Bob Walter Unless Otherwise Credited

Video Centennial Tour of T. C. Van Home Sunday, October 18, 2009


                                                                                                                                   (photo courtesy Pat and Edwinna Van Eaton)

     The following information was given to visitor's at the Van Eaton home Sunday, October 18, 2009. "T. C. Van Eaton built this Victorian style house, the first constructed in Eatonville of finished lumber, not logs, for his family in 1896. The lumber was hauled by horse and wagon from Tacoma. The foundation was cedar blocks. The house had no insulation, plumbing, electricity or hallways.
     "The original two story portion is 25 feet square. The downstairs has the entry, stairs, three rooms and a large closet. The upstairs had four small bedrooms and two small closets. The upper front porch, also used for sleeping, had a canvas shade to keep rain and snow off the bed. Coat hooks for nightgowns and everyday clothes were behind the bedroom doors. Every room had high ceilings and four bay windows. Each bay window has a slightly different dimension.
    "The inside walls were constructed of fir lath boards and plaster mixed with horsehair and then covered with wallpaper. All the floors were fir which rotted after the foundation rotted. The new foundation and sidewalks were built in 1969 by Morris Bolinger of Mineral, using rock from Mineral Creek and the Mashell River. In 1979 the floors were replaced with maple flooring Dr. Tom Van Eaton salvaged in 1961 when the 1917 Eatonville High School gym was demolished.
    "The parlor fireplace was crafted of cherry wood in the Black Forest area of Germany and transported by steamship around Cape Horn, tip of South America, and up the west coast to Tacoma before the Panama Canal was built. The original green tiles are from Mexico. There were many chimney fires because the mortar was made of sand and lime which cracked easily. Charred attic rafters remain as evidence.
    "The solid cedar wood panel doors were made in Tacoma with ornate hinges and escutcheons, the metal plate surrounding the door handle and key hole. The door knobs are black porcelain. The door and window moldings include plinth blocks at top corners.
    "The kitchen was a one story 16x18 foot room attached behind the house. It had three windows facing south for sunlight and warmth. The wood stove heated water, provided warmth to hatch baby chicks, cooked the food, rendered pig fat, made soap, et. Beyond the kitchen porch was a 50 feet deep, hand dug, brick lined domestic well. The large vegetable garden, flower garden, chicken house, cow barn, berries and fruit trees extended west to Orchard Avenue. Original apple trees are still producing and great-great-grandchildren make applesauce."
 

Dr. Tom Van Eaton Greets Guests

 

Nellie Van Eaton's Wedding Dress

 

Dr. Tom Tips his Grandfather's Hat

 

Admiring the Old Treadle Sewing Machine

 

Susie Van Eaton Wenk's Rocking Chair

 

Tatted by Nellie Van Eaton

 

     Lorna Langberg Hay, who lives out of the area. visited the Van Eaton home with her friend Ken Bethune. Lorna is the granddaughter of B. W. Lyon the iconic teacher/coach/superintendent who led Eatonville schools to be the best in the state in the early days. It was said of Lyon that he was 25 years ahead of his time and his progressive ideas proved it.

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