Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Oldest House in Spokane

It's amazing how often it happens. A perfect stranger walks up to us in the grocery store, at Miller's Hardware, or in the park and says "You're those people! With that house!"

It's true. We are the people with that house. That house on the corner that you've driven by a million times, the house that you've always wondered what it's like inside, the house that looks like someone's fixing it up (very slowly).

The fun part of the conversation is what inevitably comes next, though. The "I heard..." part of the conversation. Because the Charming Wreck is so visible, stories have sprung up around it like bindweed. Total strangers have pulled into our driveway to tell us what we should know about our house. Like that it was the first house in Spokane with electricity. (It wasn't.) Or that there's a secret room in the basement. (There isn't.)

Today, though, we heard a new one. "You're the people! With that house! I heard it's the oldest house in Spokane!" Whoa. Since the Spokane House trading post was built in 1810, and the Charming Wreck was built in 1922, we really can't lay claim to that particular superlative.

This is going to be a hard rumor to quash, though. Apparently, the people who asked us heard it from their kids, who attend the elementary school across the street. I just know that there are groups of kids at recess telling the younger ones hair-raising tales of the old house ("The Oldest!") built on a Indian burial ground ("For reals!") haunted by a crazy old lady ("like, two hundred years old!") who eats kids.

Probably explains why we never get any trick-or-treaters.


Meg said...

Is that THE charming wreck in the photo? It's fabulous! I love the blend of classicism and the Spanish roof.

Beth said...

It's THE Charming Wreck, back in the early 1920s. The historical society calls the style "Spanish Colonial Revival," which probably means an architect would call it "a hot mess."