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.