Location: 130 Sherman St. NW
|J.J. Brenner House 1966, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives|
J.J. Brenner House today (2014), photograph by Deb Ross
JJ Brenner entered the oyster business in Thurston County in the early 1890s. Like many other Euro-Americans in the area, he purchased rights to oyster beds in the Mud Bay area and used Indian labor to harvest. In the 1920s, when the Olympia oyster was in decline and the Pacific oyster was introduced, Brenner quickly took advantage of the new species and built up the largest oyster business in the area, JJ Brenner, with its building and dock at the present location of Bayview Market. The company still exists, having moved to Mason County in the mid-20th century.
Brenner first lived in the Brenner House in West Olympia on 4th Avenue. He built this elaborate Craftsman/Mission style home in 1910, using the Tacoma firm of Heath & Twitchell. It is one of the finest homes in the area, overlooking both Budd Inlet and the former site of the JJ Brenner oyster operation. In 1925, Brenner’s son Earl built a similar Mission-style home next door, the Earl Brenner house, designed by Joseph Wohleb.
For more information on the Brenner family, see the Residents section of this website.