History of 318 Craig Street, Walla Walla, WA


Legal Description:

Beginning at a point on the southerly line of Craig Street, distant 100 feet easterly from the intersection of the easterly line of Palouse Street with the southerly line of Craig Street; thence easterly along the southerly line of Craig Street 82 feet; thence at right angles southerly 170 feet; thence at right angles westerly 82 feet; thence at right angles northerly 170 feet to the point of beginning:

Beginning at the southerly line of Craig Street in the City of Walla Walla distant 182 feet easterly from the intersection of the easterly line of Palouse Street with the southerly line of Craig Street; thence easterly along the southerly line of Craig Street 54 feet; thence at right angles southerly 170 feet, thence at right angles westerly 54 feet; thence at right angles northerly 170 feet, more or less, to the place of beginning

Beginning at the southeast corner of Lot 4 of Block E of St. Paul’s Addition to the city of Walla Walla according to the official plat thereof of record in the office of the Auditor of Walla Walla County, State of Washington, and running thence westerly and along the southerly line of said Lot 4 of said Block “E” a distance of 45 feet to a point which point is the true point of beginning; thence northerly and parallel to the westerly line of said Block “E” a distance of 15 feet thence westerly and parallel to the southerly line of said Block “E” a distance of 45 feet; thence easterly and parallel to the southerly line of said Block “E” a distance of 8 feet; thence northerly and parallel to the westerly line of said Block “E” a distance of 30 feet more or less to the point of beginning.

Title History

The land that comprises the City of Walla Walla was acquired from the Cayuse and Walla Walla Indian tribes by the U.S. Government in a treaty signed on June 9, 1855 in Walla Walla and ratified on March 8, 1859 by President James Buchanan.  Walla Walla was originally laid out by surveyor H.H. Case in 1859, even before its formal incorporation as a city in 1862, as a one-quarter mile square oriented N-S, E-W with its eastern side centered on the point where Main Street crossed Mill Creek (at roughly the point where it does now).  To this original area, additional parcels were annexed from time to time, usually with the name of the land owner of record at the time the additions were made. 318 Craig is situated in an area where most properties are part of Roberts’ Additions.  Block “E,” located in St. Paul’s School Addition,  is an exception which is an interesting part of its history.

The first recorded transaction for 318 Craig was the sale of a 7.82 acre piece from Alvin B. Roberts and Martha E. Roberts for $1000 to James W. Law on June 10, 1870. A.B. Roberts  came to Walla Walla from Portland in 1859.  He purchased a claim to a large section of land south of Main St. where besides doing real estate development, he raised fruit trees, having brought the first grafted fruit trees to the Walla Walla area.  Numerous houses in the Palouse and Catherine street areas are in Roberts Additions.  On January 10, 1872 Law sold the 7.82 acres to Noah Flickinger, who lived in Toledo, Ohio.  Flickinger deeded the property on December 4, 1874 for $500 to Emma H. Flickinger.  It was noted on this document that she was not his wife and lived in Logan, Ohio.   On October 5, 1880 Emma H. Flickinger and Edward Flickinger sold the property for $2500 to A.Reeves Ayers and Elvada Ayers.

On July 13, 1881 the Ayers sold the land for $3500 to John A. Paddock, Bishop of Washington Territory for the Protestant Episcopal Church.  The transaction included water rights possibly from the stream that flows through this block.  The source was not specified in the document.  On January 16, 1882 Paddock deeded the land to The Trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Washington, a corporation.  On July 13, 1891 those trustees deeded the land to the local Trustees of St. Paul’s School, intended only for girls, which included  J. F. Boyer, E.B. Whitman, A.D.R. Crawford, B.L. Sharpstein, and V. Marshal Law.  This is the source of the name St. Paul’s School Addition for Block “E.” The addition covers the area between Craig and Juniper Streets and Palouse and Park Streets.  Establishing the school had its ups and downs financially.  The school was never built on the St. Paul’s Addition although in 1883 “$10,000 was pledged but not paid by the people of Walla Walla” for the school. A foundation for a school building was put in an unspecified part of St. Paul’s Addition but went unused.  Instead St. Paul’s School was built at Third and Poplar in 1885 but failed after a few years. It was then started again in 1897 south of the current location of the Episcopal Church on Catherine St.   St. Paul’s School for Girls operated there for 71 years until 1968 when it finally closed its doors for good, after which it was used as a dorm for Walla Walla Community College athletes and finally torn down.

On April 5, 1900 the St. Paul’s School Trustees sold all of Block “E” except for lots 7 and 8 to Mary Esther Baker, first wife of W. W. Baker. The Bakers built 330 Craig probably in 1901 on the largest lot on Block “E.” Land designated for an alley was also included in this sale but was never constructed.  Mary Esther Baker died in 1903 and an affidavit was filed naming W. W. Baker as the “grantee.”  When daughter Mildred Baker married W. Craig Ferguson, the wedding gift from W.W. Baker was the property at 318 Craig.  Mildred died in 1948; in 1951 Craig Ferguson, who had been a Trust Officer at the Baker-Boyer Bank, moved into the garage which had been converted to living quarters consisting of three rooms at the time his daughter Janet Ferguson Campbell and her husband, Robert Campbell, MD, and their children moved into the house.  The house had been left by her mother to Janet Campbell, who was born there in 1921, and her brother Baker Ferguson.  Baker Ferguson quit claimed his interest in the house to his sister Janet on June 9, 1953, specifying that their father be provided for on the property.  Following W.Craig Ferguson’s death in 1957, his living quarters were reconverted to a double garage.  The chimney and a picture window remain.  The Campbells made so many changes during their residency that the current appearance of the house hardly resembles photos of the original house.  Among the changes were a one story family room addition on the east side of the house, enlargement and remodeling of the kitchen, installation of a large bay window on the front of the house, and the reconfiguration of the upstairs bedrooms creating a two-bedroom and bath area for their two daughters, Susan and Cathy.

Robert Campbell, a very respected member of the Walla Walla medical profession, had a practice in 1953 at 217 Baker Building and then at the Catherine St. Clinic until his retirement.  The Campbell family residency ended in 2004 when Janet died.  Robert Campbell had died in 2001. Quit claim deeds had been filed by both Janet and Robert Campbell  in 1999 designating their three children as co-trustees of 318 Craig.  Susan Campbell Pratt, Cathryn Campbell Allen and Craig Gordon Campbell sold the house to Erik Daniel Krebs and Traci L. Krebs on August 13, 2004 for an unstated amount.

Since this was a Baker family property, there have been remarkably few owners and residents of this grand house.   The Krebs are the third owners.  They have designated the immense silver maple tree in the front yard as a Walla Walla heritage tree, which was approved by the Walla Walla Urban Forestry Advisory Committee in April, 2006.

The designation of lots or their dimensions for four Baker families is not well documented in the files for this property. All lots in Block “E” except for lots 7 and 8 on the SW corner of Palouse and Craig became homes for various members of the Baker family.  As those members moved or died and non-family members purchased the homes, numerous documents were required for defining the individual properties. The length of the legal description for 318 Craig is a good example.  Four folders, one for each of the four Baker houses, were required for this report.

Construction of the House

Building permits were required after 1907 but there were none recorded for 318 Craig.  The Sanborn Fire Map shows that there was no house on the property in 1905. The architect Charles Halter’s name appears on each page of the detailed blueprints for the house but these are not dated. This house was a wedding gift from W.W. Baker to his daughter Mildred, making that date the clue for the construction date.  Family members were consulted and a family Bible was found which gave the wedding date as September 29, 1917.    The Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office file shows 1916 faintly in pencil on the folder for this property.  1917 appears to be the correct date.

Resources used:

Doug Saturno, Craig Campbell, Susan Campbell Pratt, Traci Krebs, Megan Clubb

Penrose Library Northwest Archives

Pioneer Title Co. documents for this property

Sanborn Fire Maps

Walla Walla City Directories

Walla Walla County Assessor’s Files

Walla Walla Public Library Northwest History collection


Katherine Weingart
Walla Walla 2020 Research Service
P.O. Box 1222, Walla Walla WA 99362
May, 2006