Location: 918 San Francisco St NE
Lilly House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Washington State Archives
Lilly House today (2013) photo by Deb Ross
At the crest of San Francisco Street, in east Olympia, the Lilly House would have had a nice view of the foot of Budd Bay when it was built, some time between 1895 and 1910. The Lillys bought the property from Clara Knox, the widowed proprietor of the Knox Apartments. Sources differ on whether the house had already been built when they moved here. Warren Lilly, a carpenter, and his wife Helen Josephine Lilly were living in Gull Harbor in 1900, along with other Lilly family members (Lilly Road is likely named after the family). They had moved to this slightly more convenient location by 1910. At that time, however, travel to downtown Olympia would have entailed a muddy, slippery ride or walk down to the waterfront, and then a rickety bridge crossing over the Swantown Slough.
The house is a modest but charming pioneer style home in good condition. It is listed on the local register.
Thank you to owner Kristina Hermach for information about the house and its former occupants.
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross