After 175 years, the oldest house in Washington is still standing

The Historic Covington House, situated in the heart of Vancouver, Washington, proudly holds the title of being the oldest house in the state. It was constructed in 1848 by Richard and Charlotte “Anna” Covington and has witnessed over 175 years of history unfold, from the early days of the Oregon Territory to the bustling metropolis of today.

A Testament to Early Settlers

In 1845, the Covingtons arrived in Vancouver and became one of the early settlers in the area. They purchased a plot of land from the Hudson’s Bay Company and built a log cabin on it. Despite its simplicity, the house was sturdy and well-built to endure the tough winters of the Northwest.

The Covingtons’ residence swiftly transformed into a hub for the nascent community. They established a school for the youngsters of both settlers and employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, providing them with the education they required. Additionally, they extended their hospitality to travelers, offering them lodging and meals. The house was also designated as a post office for some time, playing a crucial role in maintaining communication between the secluded Vancouver community and the rest of the globe.

A Legacy of Preservation

For numerous years, the Covington House was under the ownership of the Covington family. Anna, Richard Covington’s wife, continued to reside in the house even after her husband’s death in 1874 until her passing in 1904. However, the ownership of the house changed hands several times, and as a result, it eventually became dilapidated.

Back in the 1920s, a bunch of community members banded together to create the Covington House Heritage Society. They had one goal in mind: to prevent the demolition of the historic house. To achieve this, they started raising funds to restore the house to its original state. Thanks to their tireless efforts, the house was eventually opened to the public as a museum in 1930.

The Covington House has now become a renowned tourist attraction, offering visitors an opportunity to explore its rich history and discover how people used to live in the 19th century. Apart from touring the house, visitors can also witness the grandeur of weddings and other special events held at the house.

More Than Just a Museum

The Covington House serves as a living homage to the unyielding determination and fortitude of the pioneers of Washington. It is much more than just a museum, as it provides a space for individuals to unite and appreciate the history of the region. Moreover, it reminds us of the significance of safeguarding our cultural legacy for future generations to come.

Data Points

    • The Covington House is a two-room log cabin with a loft.
    • The house was built from logs that were cut from the surrounding forest.
    • The original fireplace is still in use.
    • The house has been restored to its original condition, including the original wallpaper and flooring.
    • The Covington House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    • The Covington House Museum is open to the public for tours regularly.

Preserving the Covington House is crucial as it holds significant historical value and serves as a reminder of Vancouver and Washington’s early days. The house provides a space for individuals to gather and celebrate the past while also learning about it. It is important to ensure that this valuable resource remains intact for future generations to appreciate and cherish.

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MBS Staff
MBS Staff
Articles: 1846

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