by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
August 21, 2001
The house was given to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in 1959 by one of his descendants and it was turned into a state park. It was listed on the National Register in 1974 and until recently, was the smallest state park in Washington (supposedly that distinction has now been given to a grave site).
Almost all of the furnishings in the home belonged to the Rothschilds. The parlor and front hall still have the original wall and ceiling paper and the halls and guest bedroom still have the original carpet. The woodwork in the front hall is actually a paint treatment that was made to look like wood panelling - quite a feat nowadays but considering it was done in the late 1800s, even more impressive. Near the firplace, the side closet was used as a blanket warmer - smart thinking since there was no central heating in those days.
Outside, the extensive gardens are a treat to wander through. In mid July, the rose garden is at its most magnificent. There were still some roses in bloom when we visited and they were very fragrant. There are plaques notating the year the rose was first hybridized and some date from the late 1700s and early to mid 1800s.
The herb garden has one of the largest rosemary bushes I've ever seen, as well as old fashioned plants like Fever Few and Bible Leaf.
There is a guide at the house who gives some history of the family and what their life was like in the 1800s. He is also more than happy to answer any questions.
The museum is open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $2.00. You're not allowed to take any flash photos.
From journal Port Townsend, Washington's Victorian Gem