MONROE — Regular trips to Goodwill.
That’s Wendy Keene’s advice for home decorating. Keene and Tim Schultz will show you how it’s done during Saturday’s Historic Homes Tour in Monroe.
(The Monroe Historical Society’s tour starts at 11 a.m. Nov. 4, so if you are reading this in the newspaper that morning, it’s time to get up and get going.)
Keene and Schultz live on the south end of Lewis Street, the boulevard section just before you reach the Skykomish River. Their home, a 1903 little beauty, has a 100-year-old holly tree out front and a back garden — complete with egg-laying chickens — that is delightful in the summer. It’s a place their six grandchildren love to visit.
The couple bought the house about four years ago. They painted extensively inside and out, and updated the kitchen and downstairs bathroom. Their home is filled with furnishings, old books and decorative pieces (many celebrating chickens) that Keene bought during frequent trips to thrift stores.
“What she does is similar to mining for gold,” Schultz said with a laugh.
Society president Tami Kinney offered some historical research about the house:
A logger and miner named Thomas Lockwood obtained the property in 1875 under the federal Land Act. At some point, Earl and Cora Husted bought it and likely built the house. George and Ellen Richardson purchased the place in 1908, and sold it two years later to a farming couple named Alex and Sarah McNaughton. The McNaughtons sold it in 1926 to Edmund and Lucille Streissguth, who remodeled the house.
A World War I veteran, Streissguth started a mercantile with his brother William in about 1924 at Main and Lewis streets. The business later became known as Price-Rite Grocery. Edmund Streissguth was active on the school board and served as city clerk. When he died in 1942, his wife and her brother-in-law continued to run the grocery until 1966. Lucille was active on the library and parks boards. She died at home in 1992.
Because Lucille Streissguth’s family had the house for nearly 70 years, it is known in town as the Streissguth Home, Kinney said.
Christine Ramolet-Brown owned the house for about 15 years and updated the house again. James and Lisa Crosby also did some work during the four years they lived there. Keene and Schultz moved to Monroe from an apartment in south Everett. The Streissguth Home seemed like heaven to them.
The Streissguths’ shutters, decorated with moon shapes, remain on the front windows. The original fir floors are in good shape, Schultz said. The house just needed some extra love, Keene said.
The remodeling the couple has done is accented with Keene’s thrift-store finds, including a $5 portfolio of artwork from the 1980s by important Portland, Oregon, printmaker and painter George Johanson. Several pieces by Johanson hang in the Keene-Schultz living room.
“We researched his work and got in touch with him,” Keene said. “He invited us to meet him at his studio. I think he was grateful that we rescued his work from Goodwill.”
The Monroe Historical Society, an all-volunteer organization founded in 1976, runs a museum in Monroe’s original city hall building, 207 E. Main St. The free museum is open noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The home tour is a fundraiser for the museum.
Monroe Historical Society Historic Homes Tour
The self-guided tour is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4 (rain or shine) through six homes. The tour begins at the 1908 Monroe City Hall Building and Historic Museum, 207 E. Main St. Tickets are $10 each, available at the museum on Saturday. A tour guide and map will serve as admission to the homes. Most of the homeowners will be on hand to answer questions about their restoration efforts. Refreshments will be available at the museum. All ages are welcome. For more information, go to www.monroehistoricalsociety.org.