History of 528 South Park Street, Walla Walla, WA


Legal Description

Roberts Lots 7 and 8 Block 19 Less Alley & 2’ Strip

Full Legal Description

Beginning at the Southeasterly corner of Block 19 of Roberts 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 Washington, in Volume A of Plats at Page 21, and running thence South 60° 10’ West, along the Southerly line of said Block 19, a distance of 100 feet to the Southwesterly corner line of said Lot 7 in said Block 19; thence North 29° 50’ West, along the Westerly line of said Lot 7, a distance of 85 feet; thence North 60° 10’ East, parallel to the Southerly line of said Block 19, a distance of 100 feet to a point in the Easterly line of said Block 19; thence South 29° 50’ East, along said Easterly line, a distance of 85 feet to THE POINT OF BEGINNING. EXCEPTING THEREFROM the Northerly 2 feet.

Title and Occupant 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. Chase in 1859, even before its formal incorporation as a city in 1862, as a one-quarter mile square oriented north-south, east-west 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 landowner of record at the time the additions were made. 528 South Park Street is located in Block 19 of Roberts Addition, named for A.B. Roberts, who came to Walla Walla from Portland in 1859. He claimed a large section of land south of Main Street, where besides developing that part of town into blocks and lots, he raised fruit trees, having brought the first grafted fruit trees with him from Portland. Roberts Addition was platted and filed in the Auditor’s Office for Walla Walla County on January 20, 1871.

Roberts was part of the very active real estate buying, selling and developing that occurred as Walla Walla grew in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Names of individuals who were part of this are now names of Walla Walla streets, downtown buildings, schools, etc. However, on October 3, 1873, there was a Sheriff’s Sale “at the Courthouse Door” of several lots on Block 19, including Lots 7 and 8, as well as other parcels owned by Alvin B. and Martha E. Roberts, conducted by Burrell M. Griffin, Sheriff of Walla Walla County and Special Master in Chancery of the District Court of the First Judicial District of Washington Territory. This sale was the result of a debt of $1,078.39 owed by the Robertses. The buyers were brothers Frank W. Paine and John G. Paine and Miles C. Moore, the last Territorial Governor. On April 19, 1872, the Robertses had given a mortgage of $993.17 to the Paines and Moore, secured by one dollar.

3/6/1879, Deed, Frank W. and Ida Paine, John G. Paine, Miles C. and Mary E. Moore, grantors; John B. Montague, grantee, Lots 7 and 8, Block 19 Roberts Addition, $90. John Montague was a farmer residing in Bryant’s Addition.

8/6/1879, Deed, J. B. Montague, grantor; Josephine Lumpp, grantee, Lot 7, Block 19, Roberts Addition.

6/8/1880, Warranty Deed Against Grantors, John F. and Sarah E. Boyer, grantors; Henry Dearborn, grantee; Lots 7, 8 and 9, Block 19 including other parcels in Roberts Addition too numerous for listing, $925, 6/8/1880. (Although there is a Lot 9 clearly listed on this Deed, no evidence can be found indicating there ever was a Lot 9 on Block 19.)

1/3/1881, Warranty Deed, John B. and Ellen Montague, grantors; Josephine Lumpp, grantee, Lot 8, Block 19, Roberts Addition, $1,100.

1/8/1891, Deed, W. P. and Christine M. Winans, grantors; John and Josephine Lumpp, grantees, in reference to a strip of land 18’ wide running through the centers of Blocks 18 and 19…from Palouse Street to Park Street…9 feet…of lots facing Craig Street and 9 feet off the lots facing Whitman Street, $1 and other valuable consideration. William P. Winans was president of the Walla Walla Street Railway Company and secretary of the Walla Walla Water Works. Later he became president of Farmers Savings Bank.

2/15/1894, Deed, City of Walla Walla, grantor; Josephine Lumpp, grantee, Lots 5, 6, 7 and 8, Block 19, Roberts Addition, $1 and other valuable consideration.

John and Josephine Lumpp ca. 1880

John and Josephine Lumpp ca. 1880

John Lump (1828–1908) was listed in the 1880 Walla Walla City Directory as a drayman, residence on the south side of Whitman east of Catherine. There is no listing for Josephine Lumpp. Mr. Lumpp continued to reside in various locations with no listing of a spouse through 1892. In the 1893-94 Directory, he is still listed without Josephine, but in this edition his residence is “528 Park.”  In the 1898 Directory, John Lumpp was listed as a “capitalist” still with no mention of Josephine. Her first listing in the Directory did not occur until the 1909-10 edition, when she was listed as “widow, John Lumpp,” residing at “528 Park.”

Josephine Lumpp, né Kirtchner, was born near Chicago on June 19, 1850.   It is not known when she arrived in Walla Walla or when she married John Lumpp, who was reported to be her second husband. The Lumpps had two children, Josie (1879–1887) and Lena (1881–1882). John Lumpp and his two daughters are buried in the Catholic section of Mountain View Cemetery. Her last listing as Josephine Lumpp in a City Directory was in the 1915 edition. However, a diligent search of city directories for 1918-20 disclosed that in 1917 she married John McNerney and they, along with McNerney’s adult son James, all lived at 528 South Park Street. In the 1929-30 City Directory, Josephine was listed as the widow of John McNerney, who had died in 1928. Interestingly, the 1933 City Directory lists not only Josephine McNerney at 528 South Park, but the widow Kate Semler was living with her; they apparently shared the house until Josephine’s death. (See below for more on Semler.)

Josephine McNerney died in September 1938. She is buried along with her last husband in the Masonic section of Mountain View Cemetery. The obituary mentioned that she was the mother of two daughters and one son, Carl Strite (also known as Charles Strite) of Kooskie, Idaho. Presumably, her marriage to Carl’s father predated her marriage to Lumpp. (See below for more on Strite.)

Left Kate Semler; center uniden.; right Josephine McNerney, perhaps in the garden at 528 South Park Street, n.d.

Left Kate Semler; center uniden.; right Josephine McNerney, perhaps in the garden at 528 South Park Street, n.d.

Between 1915 and 1945 when a new Deed was filed transferring ownership no documents exist to establish just who owned this property. This was not due to any missing documents at Pioneer Title; there simply are not any covering these years that could be located by this researcher or Pioneer staff. A search of the hand-written Index to Deeds, Walla Walla County, Washington between 1916 and 1945 in the Auditor’s vault did not turn up any entries between those years for John or Josephine Lumpp or Charles or Emma Strite who are listed on a Deed of 1945. Because of the frequent turnover of occupants of 528 South Park between 1939 and 1952 it would appear that the house was rental property. In 1941 it was vacant. Even though a Gift Deed of 1945 establishes that as of that year Charles and Emma Strite were legally owners, it continued to house renters through 1952. The first listing for Charles J. Strite at 528 South Park is in the 1953 City Directory. Thus, the examination undertaken of city directories must be credited with establishing the chain of ownership of 528 South Park Street and establishes that for some 50 years it remained in the Strite-Lumpp-McNerney-Semler family that revolved for most of those years around its central character, Josephine Lumpp-McNerney.

It should be mentioned that there are two files on this property at Pioneer Title, each with a different number. Both files contain Deeds and other documents dealing with transactions that involved both Lots 7 and 8. A possible explanation for this is that when platted Lots 5, 6, 7 and 8 were rather narrow lots fronting on Craig Street and extending to the alley mid-block between Craig and Whitman Streets. When constructed, it is entirely plausible that 528 South Park Street occupied a portion of both lots, as would have its neighbor, built a few years later, at 518 South Park. More recently, Lots 7 and 8 were reconfigured, in effect rotated 180° so that they now face South Park Street and back up against Lot 6; Plat maps filed on 4/20/2012 and 4/25/2012 suggest when this reconfiguration was made. Although legal descriptions for both 528 South Park Street and 518 South Park Street remain unchanged and describe them as occupying both Lots 7 and 8, a computer search of the property at Pioneer Title reveals that 528 occupies what is currently configured as Lot 8 and 518 occupies Lot 7.

3/22/1945, Gift Deed, Charles J. Strite aka Carl J. Strite, grantor; Emma Strite, grantee, $10 and other valuable consideration.

12/6/1968, Emma Strite, a widow, grantor; John A. Semler, grantee, $6,000. Mr. Semler appears not to have inhabited the house at 528 South Park. In 1971 it was listed as vacant in the City Directory and it was again rental property until 1973.

1/23/1974, Lien, John A. Semler, unrecorded contract of sale to Calen and Jacine Orlind for taxes of $9,200. Calen W. Orlind was an accountant for Dayton General Hospital; his wife Jacine worked for Pacific Power & Light. The Orlinds moved into 528 South Park as renters in 1973 before purchasing the house from Mr. Semler the following year.

1/29/1974, Deed and Purchaser’s Agreement of Real Estate Contract, Calen and Jacine Orlind, grantors; Floyd A. and Dorothy J. Harvey, grantees. Mr. Harvey was a bookkeeper at Orthopedic Associates.

4/11/1975, Statutory Warranty Deed, Floyd A. and Dorothy J. Harvey, grantors; Floyd L. and Virginia A. Murphy, grantees, $10. Mr. Murphy was an employee of Marsh Radio, and his wife was a licensed babysitter.

9/30/1975, Quit Claim Deed, Floyd L. and Virginia A. Murphy, grantors; Ola Marie Benefiel, grantee, $10 and other valuable consideration. At the time of this QCD, Ola Marie Benefiel was residing in Gig Harbor, WA, although she and her husband earlier had had a home in Green’s Park Addition.

2/7/1979, Quit Claim Deed, Floyd A. and Dorothy J. Harvey, grantors; Floyd L. and Virginia A. Murphy, grantees.

2/12/1979, Quit Claim Deed, John A. Semler, grantor; Floyd A. and Dorothy J. Harvey, grantees.

7/31/1972, Statutory Warranty Deed, John A. Semler, a single man, grantor; Calen and Jacine Orlind, grantees, $10.

8/25/1982, Deed and Seller’s Assignment of Real Estate Contract, Floyd A. and Dorothy J. Harvey, grantors; Floyd L. and Virginia A. Murphy, grantees, $8,338.02.

10/8/1985, Deed and Seller’s Assignment of Real Estate Contract, Baker Boyer National Bank, grantor; Floyd A. and Dorothy J. Harvey, grantees.

12/26/1997, Quit Claim Deed, Virginia Arlene Murphy, grantor; Floyd Lee Murphy, grantee.

10/29/1999, Statutory Warranty Deed, Jay Lee Murphy for the estate of Floyd Lee Murphy, deceased, grantor; Laurentiu and Magdalena Nicoara, grantees, $10 and other valuable consideration.

4/16/2000, Quit Claim Deed, Laurentiu and Magdalena Nicoara, grantors; Sebastian and Shelah Nicoara, grantees.  Sebastian Nicoara was an electrician.

7/19/2000, Quit Claim Deed, Laurentiu and Magdalena Nicoara, grantors; Sebastian and Shelah Nicoara, grantees.

5/28/2004, Statutory Warranty Deed, Sebastian and Shelah Nicoara, grantors; Bruce Macon and Giselle de Ryss, grantees, $2,868.75.

9/28/2015, Warranty Deed, Bruce Macon and Giselle de Ryss, grantors; Kevin Kin and Lisa Adelman, grantees.

Construction of Building

The Walla Walla County Assessor dates the house at 528 South Park Street to 1895. The 1893-94 City Directory contains the first listing for John Lumpp residing at 528 South Park. The Sanborn Fire Map published in March 1894 clearly shows the house on the corner of Park and Craig; the basic footprint remains the same to this day. The Sanborn Fire Maps published in 1888, 1889 and 1890 do not extend to this property. The smaller house next door at 518 South Park Street does not appear on the Sanborn Fire Map until the 1905 edition. Since the 1893-94 directory wasn’t published until 1894, the year Josephine Lumpp received a final deed for the property from the city of Walla Walla and the first year the property was listed in the directory, it is reasonable to conclude that the house was probably constructed in 1894, during the ownership of John and Josephine Lumpp.

The house itself retains architectural characteristics primarily of the Stick Style, including a cross-gable roof, irregular massing, tall double-hung windows, shiplap siding with vertical strips of wood at the corners of the house, lathe-turned porch posts and fish scale shingling on the third level gable surfaces; the wrap-around porch is more characteristic of the Queen Anne style. Other more Eastlake-derived characteristics of these styles are missing, e.g., elaborate brackets, windowpane patterns, possibly incorporating banding of small panes of colored glass in the upper halves of the windows, more lathe-turned spindles on the porch, etc. which would likely have been part of the 1892 design. As mentioned, the footprint of the house is consistent with the 1894 Sanborn Fire Map. This does not, however, eliminate the conclusion that the north surface of the house has been altered from the original; certainly the extension of the dormer on the north side is not original. This researcher was informed that in the 1990s the house was allowed to fall into a deteriorated condition. Subsequent owners have made headway in returning the house to a much more presentable condition. New double-hung windows were installed; the originals would have had more elaborate hooding, as seen on the smaller original single pane windows in the attic gables. The front and side doors are also new. The couple who purchased the house in September 2015 look forward to continuing the effort to restore 528 South Park Street to a more 19th-century appearance.


  • Walla Walla City Directories – various years
  • Sanborn Fire Maps, 1894 & 1905
  • U. S. Census records, 1920 and 1930
  • Ancestry.com
  • Mountain View Cemetery records
  • Susan Monahan
  • Doug Saturno