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Historic 1890s log house built by Swedish immigrants listed for $2.5 million

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The Nelson-Parker House, aka the “Swedish House,” is on the National Register of Historic Places

A home with a large gable at the top front and a covered, gabled front porch, with an exterior covered in vertical logs and a lawn around it. Courtesy of Cindy Kelly/Compass Real Estate

The Seattle area doesn’t have too many surviving homes from before 1900, much less any this liveable. Woodinville’s Nelson-Parker House boasts all this historic details that earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014, but manages to fit in more contemporary amenities that don’t get in the way, including a thoroughly modernized kitchen.

The home was originally built by Swedish immigrants N. E. and Matilda Nelson in the 1890s from cedar logs felled on the property. It's the Nordic sensibility that’s allowed it to maintain its distinct identity despite several remodels, something that the National Register of Historic Places notes “reflect[s] an association with Nordic immigration in King County.”

It’s “an unusual example of hewn log construction, incorporating both vertical and horizontal cedar planks and exhibiting keyed notching, a rare instance of this method of joinery,” according to the register. It includes a cross-gable vault at the top, something that helps give the home its distinct character both inside and out.

Some of the homier details came later, although many still more than a century ago. The Nelson patriarch ran off to Alaska, and the Parker family moved in, adding doors, windows, and porches to the shell Nelson had left behind. Many of the later improvements were made in the 1970s and 1990s by the family that still owns the property: a basement with a wine cellar, a network of back decks with a sunken hot tub, and a more open living space. In its current form, it has four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Those cedar logs still take center stage, but since it’s only been a home throughout its existence, it doesn’t feel like a museum. Instead, it’s a lovingly cared for estate resembling a log cabin, with textured walls, vaulted ceilings, and plenty of built-ins. It has period fixtures and craftsmanship, but modern comfort.

There’s still that homesteading vibe, though: The grounds are full of vegetable gardens, scenic trails, and plenty to explore.

The Nelson-Parker House is listed for $2.5 million through Cindy Kelly and Associates.

A large, stone fireplace with a wood mantel sits underneath a crossbeam in a room with an exposed-beam ceiling and wood-slat walls.
A river-rock fireplace, now a divider between the open living and dining area, was added to the living room in the 1940s.
A kitchen with a stainless-steel stove and an exposed wood island opens up to another room surrounded by exposed log ceilings, exposed-grain walls, and hardwood floors.
The kitchen layout was opened up in the 1990s, but oak reproduction cabinets help maintain the character.
A large room has exposed-beam and wood vaulted ceilings and wood-plank walls. To the left, an exposed-brick pillar has a wood stove, surrounded by built-in bookshelves.
Upstairs, a family room shows off the home’s cross-gable ceiling, with vaulting creating distinct pockets of space.
A ceiling slopes to the left with a chandelier hanging from a crossbeam. Below, horizontal exposed-wood log walls, black-framed paned windows, and a wooden bed.
Dynamic, vaulted ceilings define the home’s upper level design, including in this bedroom.
Through red-framed French doors, a small bedroom has a log-and-plaster ceiling and vertical wood-plank walls. A full, wooden bed is along the center of the back wall .
Because of the home’s unique layout and history, each bedroom maintains its own character.
A long, covered porch has exposed beams and logs above and a log railing separating it from trees and a lawn. Red French doors lead to the inside.
The home has plenty of space to take in the outdoor scenery, including this front porch from the 1900s and a more modern network of back decks.