MONROE — Before it was Jill Brumbaugh’s house, it was Laura Palmer’s house.
So Brumbaugh is used to seeing people outside, snapping photos of what was home to the murdered homecoming queen and her maniacal parents on the 1990-91 TV series “Twin Peaks.”
“They stand as far away as they can and take pictures,” Brumbaugh said. “It’s so funny. It’s like, ‘Really, you guys can get a little closer.’ If we walk out then they take off.”
Well, on Saturday, you can come inside the iconic house that appeared on the show about cherry pie.
You won’t find Laura’s mom smoking in the kitchen or the demonic entity Bob. You’ll find Brumbaugh, her husband, Phil Lidstrom, 18-year-old son Joel Lidstrom and a spunky Dalmatian.
The white Dutch colonial, built in 1928, is on the Monroe Historical Society & Museum tour, which includes six homes, two historic churches and the 1908 City Hall building. It’s the society’s first tour in 26 years.
“It is to recognize the dedicated homeowners who have purchased these homes,” tour spokeswoman Tami Kinney said. “Many were in horrible condition and they spent time, energy and money restoring them. It adds not only to the historic but also cultural heritage of our community.”
For those not familiar with “Twin Peaks,” Laura Palmer’s death started the series with the discovery of the teen’s plastic-wrapped body in the pilot episode. That’s when the devilishly handsome, pie-loving FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper came to town.
Much of the series was filmed in Washington. A similar white colonial home at 708 33rd St. in the Rucker Hill neighborhood of Everett was shown in the pilot episode and movie prequel.
The interior of the Everett house was used extensively. The inside of the Monroe home was not shown. “I’m told they didn’t like all the wallpaper here,” Brumbaugh said.
Neither did she.
“It had about 3,000 square feet of wallpaper,” she said.
It was even on the ceiling.
The family moved into the 4,000-square-foot home five years ago. Tall hedges hide the property from busy Lewis Street. It has a long driveway, huge yard and in-ground pool.
“The garage is bigger than the house we used to live in,” Brumbaugh said. “We bought it at a short sale for about $275,000. It had transient people living here for two years, and they really destroyed the house. There were more than 60 window panes that were broken. We have before pictures that I look at and say, ‘Really, what were we thinking when we bought this house?’ When we moved in we had no working bathrooms.”
Family members have spent months painting, sanding, hammering and ripping out carpet. “Partridge Family carpeting, I called it,” Brumbaugh said. “It was plaid. It was horrible.”
The couple made numerous trips to salvage markets for period hardware. Phil replaced every glazed pane of glass by hand. Joel is a master of stripping wallpaper.
Even with all their labor, the home is a work in progress.
“The master bathroom is still a disaster,” Brumbaugh said.
This is no exaggeration. It won’t be on the tour, but the bedrooms and most of the house will be shown.
Brumbaugh was surprised when the tour organizers approached her about opening her home to people.
“They said, ‘We’ll have them wear booties,’ and I started to laugh. Really? My house?” she said. “It’s not glamorous. At first I told them no. I was like, ‘Really, you want to come see it? It’s not what you think it is. It’s not glamorous.’ ”
Maybe not, but it sure is cool.
The rooms are spacious, with built-in nooks and crannies.
The top floor is a sewing room, complete with a colorful graffiti mural made by the squatters.
In the basement is the original boiler. “It still works,” Brumbaugh said. “We still heat the house with it.”
Jill, a professional housecleaner, wasn’t a “Twin Peaks” fan before moving in and neither was Phil, a mechanic for the Lake Stevens School District.
“I had a house that’s right behind this,” she said. “My husband said, ‘Would you like to move? I said, ‘No, why would I want to move? I’m happy and content in my little 800-square-foot house.’ He said, ‘Well, what would it take you to move?’ I gave him this huge list of everything I wanted. It was ridiculous.”
At the top of her list: “I wanted someplace where I can keep my canning jars.”
She scored. Big time.
There are two original fruit rooms in the basement.
“We have Canning Room A and Canning Room B,” she said. “We eat a lot of fruit.”
There won’t be any cherry pie on the tour, but you can grab a cup of damn good coffee to bring with you.
Contact Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter:@reporterbrown.
The Monroe Historical Society tour of six homes and three buildings is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12. Start at the Monroe Historical Museum, 207 E. Main St. Cost is $10. More at www.monroehistoricalsociety.org.