History of 516 East Cherry, Walla Walla, WA


Property Description:

Legal Description: Lot 3 in Block 11 of Cain’s Addition to the City of Walla Walla, according to the Official Plat recorded in Volume A of Plats at Page 41, records of the Auditor of Walla Walla County.

Title History:

Washington Territory was created in 1853. The new legislature created Walla Walla County in 1854 which stretched from the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the crest of the Rocky Mountains in the present states of Washington, Idaho and Montana. In 1855 a treaty council was held on the banks of Mill Creek at the present site of Walla Walla to purchase land from the Indians. The Yakimas, Cayuses and Walla Wallas were dissatisfied with the treaties and war followed. Missionaries, former French-Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company trading post at Wallula, and soldiers at the military Fort Walla Walla were the primary European occupants of the area prior to 1859 when it was opened for settlement. All of the land in this area 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 County Surveyor H. H. Case in 1859, before its formal incorporation as a city in 1862, as a one-quarter mile square with its eastern side centered on the point where Main Street crossed Mill Creek (at roughly the point where it does now). The City of Walla Walla received a Trustee Townsite from the U. S. Government which consisted of 80 acres issued on July 20, 1869 by the Vancouver, W.T. District Land Office. Main Street originally followed the old Nez Perce Indian Trail. Consequently the streets leading off of it were at right angles to it, and were not in a north-south orientation. This was corrected as the city moved eastward which gave Walla Walla its peculiar street pattern with the three street intersection at Palouse, Boyer and Main Streets. To the original plat, additional parcels were annexed from time to time, usually bearing the name of the land owner of record at the time the additions were made.

The property at 516 E. Cherry is part of the oldest U.S. Patent in Walla Walla. On September 10, 1861, Andrew J. Cain and Cornelius Kelly filed a patent on 160 acres under the Script Warrant Act of 1855 northeast of the original City of Walla Walla town site. During 1862, A. J. Cain surveyed Cain’s Addition to the City (this survey was re-recorded on May 11, 1865, following a disastrous fire which destroyed most of the county’s earlier records. J. Cain was a lawyer in Walla Walla between 1860 and 1873, and an early financier of the Walla Walla Union newspaper. He was elected on the Democratic ticket as prosecuting attorney of Walla Walla County in 1868. He later moved to Dayton and in September 1874 began publication of the Dayton News, a weekly Democratic newspaper. He became known as the “Father of Columbia County” as a result of his leading role in the formation of that county.

On February 13, 1862, A. J. and Emma R. Cain mortgaged 640 acres northeast of downtown Walla Walla to A. H. Reynolds. Almos H. Reynolds founded a pioneer bank in 1869, which became the 1st National Bank in 1878. On October 18, 1867, Sheriff A. Seitel of Walla Walla County conferred a Sheriff’s Deed to Dr. Dorsey S. Baker; Baker paid $2,800 for most of Cain’s Addition at the Sheriff’s Auction. Dorsey S. Baker was a founder of Baker Boyer Bank, and both Baker’s name in particular and Boyer’s to a lesser degree show up in dealings concerning most of Cain’s Addition.

A Deed for $1 dated October 17, 1871 transferred the following portions of Cain’s Addition from A. J. and Emma Cain to Dorsey S. Baker: “Lots 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 in Block 11.” This group of lots will be known as “the parcel” moving forward as it was transferred several times as a set of properties. D. S. and Elizabeth Baker in turn sold the parcel for $300.00 to John Aubin on May 5, 1874. There followed a Warranty Deed of October 19, 1874 in which John Aubin transferred ownership to Bethel H. Hatch for $350.00, and by Warranty Deed for $900 dated June 16, 1879, Bethel H. and Matilda C. Hatch transferred said parcel to Elizabeth Bourn.

At that time, it was uncommon for a married woman’s name to appear without her husband’s, but J. E. Bourn’s name (he was an agent for Dayton Woolen Mills) does not appear on any document pertaining to the parcel, although the Walla Walla City Directory for 1880 lists both Mr. and Mrs. Bourn as residing on the “north side of Sumach east of Idaho (now Park).” The 1883 Walla Walla City Directory has no listing for Bourn. Presumably, he died in 1882 or ’83 and on February 4, 1891 his widow married Joseph B. Keeney, a farmer in Pendleton. It is likely that subsequent to her marriage Elizabeth Keeney vacated the property on Sumach to join her husband in Pendleton. Ancestry.com lists the Keeneys as living in Elgin in 1900. The first listing for Joseph B. and Elizabeth Keeney at 527 E. Sumach appears in the 1905 City Directory. It is surmised that Mr. Keeney had “sold the farm” by that time and moved with his wife to her property in Walla Walla, but his tenancy there was of short duration, as he died July 10, 1905.

On January 29, 1885, a Quit Claim Deed for $1 was signed, removing John F. and Sarah Boyer (Baker Boyer Bank) from interest in the parcel; the Boyers presumably had been silent partners with D. S. Baker in holding a mortgage on the property. There are no transactions between January 1895 and July 1920. As noted above, Elizabeth (Bourn) Keeney, the owner of the parcel lived at 527 E. Sumach, and later 515 E. Sumach.

On December 4, 1916, a Quit Claim Deed was signed from “Eliz. (Bourn) Keeney, widow of James E. Bourn” to Horace Cook, a farmer, whose address was listed as R. D. 6; this is noted because it establishes the legal link between Elizabeth Bourn and Elizabeth Keeney. (It is not known why she was identified as late as 1916 as Mr. Bourn’s widow, rather than as the widow of her second husband, Mr. Keeney.)

A Notice of Liens for Special Assessments for $184.40 was entered on July 26, 1920 for Cain’s Addition, Lot 3 in Block 11. Another Notice of Liens for Special Assessments for $70.40 was entered on December 24, 1920 for Cain’s Addition Lot 3 in Block 11. Both liens note “sidewalk” as the improvement. This is the first title transaction that deals specifically with Lot 3 in Block 11 as a unique piece of the previously outlined “parcel.”

A Mortgage dated October 1, 1923 for $500 was established between grantor Carlo Ponti and Elizabeth Keeney, widow. Carlo Ponti was one of many Italian gardeners in the area, having immigrated with his wife Maria in 1895 from Angera and Lonate Pazzola, Italy.

A Warranty Deed dated October 2, 1924 transferred the property from Elizabeth Keeney, widow, to Rosella Boyd, widow, for $1.00 with a side note of “property being subject to a $500 mortgage and accruing interest.” There is no listing in City Directories of 1923 through 1928 for Rosella Boyd.

On May 26, 1928, Sheriff Earl K. McInroe of Walla Walla County conferred a Sheriff’s Certificate of Purchase to Carlo Ponti; Ponti paid $909.89 for Lot 3 in Block 11 at the Sheriff’s Auction. The property had gone into foreclosure on February 9, 1928 with Elizabeth Keeney, widow, and Rosella Boyd, widow, listed as the owners.

A Certificate of Purchase was granted on April 12, 1929, transferring property ownership from Carlo Ponti to Nettie M Gilbraith, “an unmarried woman” for $835.24. Nettie M. Galbraith was principal of St. Paul’s School on Catherine Street and she continued to reside at the school until her death, evidently never occupying the house at 516 E Cherry nor the home at 527 E. Sumach she purchased in 1924.

On March 23, 1943, Sheriff A. A. Shick of Walla Walla County conferred a Sheriff’s Deed to Alma V. Madison, widow; Madison paid $909.89 for Lot 3 in Block 11 at the Sheriff’s Auction.

A Statutory Warranty Deed was granted on May 26, 1947 from Alma V. Madison Schiffner to C. L. and Nellie B. Rawson, husband and wife, for $10 ovc (and “other valuable consideration”).

February 13, 1962: Nellie B. Rawson, widow, sold the property to Ralph L. and Nita M. Carter, husband and wife, for $10 ovc.

September 12, 1963: Warranty Deed for $10 ovc transferred the property from Ralph L. and Nita M Carter to Charles D. and Elsie E. Eisele, husband and wife.

May 28, 1964: Charles D. and Elsie E. Eisele sold the property to Robert E. and Rita J. Eisele, husband and wife, for $10 ovc.

September 23, 1971: warranty deed for $10 ovc transferred the property from Robert E. and Rita J. Eisele to Victor T. and Grace E. Emerson, husband and wife.

September 13, 1972: Victor T. and Grace E. Emerson sold the property to Edein E. and Sylvia Adele Markley, husband and wife, for $10 ovc.

A Quit Claim Deed of April 3, 1973 for $10 ovc transferred the property from Edein E. and Sylvia Adele Markley to Michael and Carol K. Page, husband and wife, and Darwin Page, a single person.

September 18, 1975: Michael and Carol K. Page released the property to Darwin and Susan Page, husband and wife, for “love and affection.”

A Deed dated February 3, 1977 for $10 ovc transferred the property from Darwin and Susan Page to Steven L. and Janet S. Smith, husband and wife.

September 3, 1987: Steven L. and Janet S. Smith released the property to Dean C. Dudley, single person, for $10 ovc.

May 23, 1988: warranty deed for $10 ovc transferred the property from Dean C. Dudley to Leland J. Johnston & Marcia G. Johnston, husband and wife.

May 30, 1990: warranty deed for $10 ovc transferred the property from Leland J. Johnston & Marcia G. Johnston to Dale D. Myrick & Genevieve Hopson, single persons. There is a note that the deed grants “joint tenants with right of survivorship.”

July 16, 2009: Genevieve Robinson-Hopson sold the property to Anthony L. and Barbara Hollobon, husband and wife, for $10 ovc.

December 13, 2012: Anthony L. and Barbara Hollobon sold the property to Douglas B. Grice for $10 ovc.

Occupant History:

The first Walla Walla City Directory listing for 516 E. Cherry is in the 1906 edition. The following are occupants as listed in each year’s Walla Walla City Directory edition (year listed below) where available. Note that data for some editions was gathered the prior year or early the same year, hence there are some mismatches with title history provided above:

  • 1906-07 — John Byron Wilson, city surveyor; Meta Wilson, student
  • 1908 – E. G. Croft, no occupation listed
  • 1909 — Herbert E. Croft, foreman; John Stack (painters and paint supply)
  • 1910-27 – no listings were able to be found
  • 1928 – E. Carey & Hattie B. Budd; wood worker, Walla Walla Iron Works, Inc.
  • 1930-31 — Clyde O. & Mauriece I. Budd; worker, Walla Walla Iron Works, Inc
  • 1932 –Louis G. & Johann L. Krogh; salesman
  • 1934 — Rueben & Ella M. Wassemiller; salesman, People’s Exchange (feed, etc.)
  • 1936 — Jess H. & Irene M. Meyers; driver
  • 1940 – Mrs. Mary M. Hall, no occupation listed
  • 1945 — Harry C. & Mae E. Schiffner; clothing cleaner at 607 E Main
  • 1947-60 — Charles L. & Nellie B. Rawson; no occupation listed
  • 1961 — Vacant
  • 1962 — Thomas U. & Maureen C. Fitzpatrick; foreman, Birdeye
  • 1963-65 — Robert Eugene & Rita June. Eisele; foreman, Boise Cascade Corp
  • 1966-68 — Danial & Violet J. Coleman; construction worker
  • 1969 — Lester R. & Katheryn J. Pedersen; concession stand employee, US Post Office
  • 1970 — Pat W. Eigele, Donald Hanson, David March; Eigele & Hanson: laborers, WW Grain Growers; March: laborer Huff Construction, Weston
  • 1971 — Victor & Grace A. Emerson, no occupation listed
  • 1972 — David & Marilyn A. Fletcher; kitchen worker, Veterans Administration Hospital
  • 1973 — Richard & Sharon Holroyd; employee Craik Lumber; supervisor WW College Laundry
  • 1974 — Darwin & Susan Page; employee Fred’s Market; teachers’ aide Wa-Hi
  • 1975 — John T. & Suzanne M. Stewart — student, WW College; chemist, Hanford
  • 1976-79 — Steve L. & Janet S. Smith; student, Whitman; med records, Veterans Administration Hospital
  • 1980 — James & Bonita Marie Haberberger; employee US Forest Service
  • 1981 — Unlisted
  • 1982-83 — Brian & Monica Hill, no occupation listed
  • 1984 — Steven L. & Janet Smith, no occupation listed
  • 1985 — Nancy Belguard, no occupation listed
  • 1986 — Vacant
  • 1987 — Dean Dudley, retired
  • 1988-90 — Vacant
  • 1991-95 — Dale & Genevieve Myrick, no occupation listed
  • 1996 — Genevieve Myrick
  • 1997-98 — Genevieve Hopson
  • 1999-2000 — Ralph C & Genevieve Robinson, retired
  • 2001-present – no city directories published

Construction of the Building:

The Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office lists a construction date of 1895 for the current house occupying this parcel. Sanborn Fire Maps do not show a structure on the property in 1894, nor in 1905. The 1894 fire map shows no homes nor property lines on that side of Block 11 of E. Cherry; and 1905 outlines lots but no structures. There is no building permit on record in the Northwest Archives permit book collection. The first listing for this property address in Walla Walla City Directories is 1906 with occupants John Byron Wilson and daughter Meta Wilson. As the property was owned at the time by Elizabeth Keeney (residing at 527 E. Sumach) one can assume this was a rental property. With no placement on the 1905 fire map but a listing in the 1906 city directory, and as both documents are normally compiled prior to the year of publication, a build year of circa 1905 would seem appropriate.

In its irregular massing, the house reflects a typical late 19th-century “worker’s” bungalow. At one and one-half stories, it shows characteristics of late Victorian, a hybrid Stick Style/Queen Anne, but lacks ornamentation characteristic of these styles, e.g., jigsaw scrollwork, lathe-turned spindles, bay windows, etc.


  • A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia and Lee McAlester, Knopf
  • BLM Land Patent Records
  • U.S. Census records
  • Sanborn Fire Maps, 1884 – 1905
  • Walla Walla City Directories: 1880-present (various publishers–not all years).
  • Walla Walla Union-Bulletin archives
  • Walla Walla County Assessor’s Office
  • Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation – http://www.dahp.wa.gov/
  • What Style Is It? Historic American Buildings Survey, National Trust