In 1898, Charles Wilke built a comfortable, modest 3-bedroom home for his family at 1920 2nd Ave. N. at the corner of Newton St. The house, which was out in the country at the time, is an example of 19th century vernacular small farm architecture.
Wilke was a framing carpenter and put a large sign on the roof of his barn “Chas. Wilke, Carpenter and Builder.” As land values rose, Wilke cut his orchard to the south of his house, and built more houses, which he sold. He also built a number of houses in the eastern and central neighborhoods of Queen Anne. The barn housed chickens, horses, and possibly a pig.
By 1917, Charles had left to seek his fortune elsewhere, leaving his wife Minnie in the home along with their three children Amanda, Helen, and Laudeus. Two of the three children lived in the home until 1969.
The property was sold in 1970. The buyer, John Counter, had the house designated a historic landmark on the National and State registers.The nomination to the National Register of Historic Places was prepared in 1974 by Mrs. Margaret Corley (Peggy), the first professional employee of MOHAI.
The barn was in deteriorating condition and was subsequently razed. A house now sits on the lot behind the original farm house.
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 1, 1974. Read it’s nomination for historical designation, which include details about its history and architecture.
The Queen Anne Historical Society recognized the property with a bronze historic plaque in 2008, mounted at the front entrance of the home. The plaque is the first of a series funded by a grant from the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Washington State.