Clinton and Alyssa Seal’s home will turn 100 years old in August.
Their 1918 Craftsman bungalow was one of seven featured in last year’s Historic Everett Home Tour. The 856-square-foot house features a low-pitched roof, covered porch, overhanging eaves and exposed rafters. It still has its original exterior siding, moulding, fir floors, doors and a clawfoot tub.
“I’ve always wanted to live in a historic home,” Clinton Seal said. “The preserved Craftsman-style features really drew me to this property. I love that it still retains many of its original features and have enjoyed restoring it to its original beauty.”
Through research, Clinton learned that the original owner was Caroline “Carlie” Blakely. The 68-year-old widow bought the home on Oakes Avenue in 1919 for $900 — about $13,600 in today’s money. She lived there with her youngest of two sons, daughter-in-law and grandson until she died in 1926. She was 75 years old.
Seal went as far as to meet some of her relatives — who showed him her Bible and hymnal — and visited where she is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery.
“These houses have stories,” said Seal, a Historic Everett member since 2015. “You feel like it’s your home but it really isn’t your home — you’re more like a caretaker. I was really interested in the stories behind the property; who these people were and how they lived.”
The couple, both 36, have worked to renovate the home over the past eight years. They have restored the front porch, repainted the interior and exterior and updated the electrical and plumbing.
The bathroom and breakfast nook were updated, and the gardens in the front and back yards were refurbished. Alyssa works from home three days per week, so they turned the breakfast nook into her home office.
The Blakely house was Pepto Bismol pink when Clinton bought it. Now it’s antique red — his favorite color — with white trim and a forest green door for contrast.
Most recently, the Seals restored the wood floors in the kitchen. The original flooring was hiding under five layers of vinyl. A curious Clinton chiseled at it with a crowbar and eventually uncovered wood.
“I was like, ‘Whoa! There’s wood down there!’ ” Seal said with a laugh. “I just kept going, and those floors were fine.”
This is the Seals’ first house. Clinton bought the home in 2010, and Alyssa moved in after they were married last year. He is a second-grade teacher at Everett’s Olivia Park Elementary School. She works for an environmental consulting firm in Redmond.
“It’s a project,” Alyssa Seal said of living in a century-old home. “There’s always something to do, to make better. We had a long list to get done before the home tour.”
The couple enjoy their living room, which has a fireplace that sports original tilework and a new mantel made in the Craftsman style. Their chocolate Lab, Reese, also loves the living room. Reese’s dog bed is right next to the fireplace.
The Seals still have more projects to do. Next, the couple want to replace the windows in the house so that they resemble the originals, and replace the kick plates below the kitchen cabinets. Now that the floor is lower, the molding doesn’t cover the gap.
“The house has good bones,” Clinton Seal said. “All it needed was some love and attention.”
Of all their home projects, Clinton is most proud of the work he and his father did on the front porch.
All of the wood had rotted so much that the porch was failing. It slanted to one side.
So father and son jacked up the porch, removed all the old wood and put in new, then sanded and stained the fir flooring. They also built a new set of stairs.
“My dad can pretty much do anything,” Seal said. “He’s a really good handyman because he did a lot of projects on my childhood home.
“It’s the Seal way to do it ourselves to save money.”
When the Seals were working on the porch, they found an artifact.
Stuck in the mud below the house was an old makeup compact circa 1920. It still has its mirror and some rouge inside.
Again, Clinton did some research.
“I really believe it is the original owner’s,” he said. “She was the only woman in the house in the 1920s.”
He keeps the compact in his greatgrandmother’s glove box with other artifacts he’s found at the house, most of them from the ’50s and ’60s. Also in the box is a necklace, marbles, buttons and a ball.
“I like history,” said Seal, who added that he’s likely the 14th owner of the house, “and I like knowing that I’ve been in a place that other people have been in for 100 years.”
The Seals plan to host a birthday party for their home the weekend of Aug. 26. That’s the date — exactly 100 years ago — that the water was hooked up to the house.
“We love this little red house,” Seal said. “It’s a blessing.”
Washington North Coast Magazine
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