Marrowstone Island dream house with New England flavor in AAUW event — SEE THE GALLERY

MARROWSTONE ISLAND — In March of 1986, Susie Baldwin was leafing through a copy of Country Living magazine when she came across an article that stopped her in her tracks.

The article was about architect Frank Tichy of Whidbey Island, who had bought an 18th century house in Massachusetts, disassembled it, trucked it across the country and rebuilt it on the shores of Penn Cove in Coupeville.

Although Susie and spouse Ken Baldwin loved visiting New England, they didn’t immediately head east to find a house to lift.

But they did the next best thing — they contacted Tichy and asked him to build a Williamsburg-style home for their family in Everett.

Now, the Baldwins are living on Marrowstone Island in their third period-style house that Tichy designed: a federal-style, three-story, white-frame house authentic down to the hand-hewn beams and hand-forged nails.

“I’ve always liked the period — the look, the warmth,” Susie Baldwin said.

The Baldwins’ kitchen is one of eight Marrowstone Island homes on this year’s AAUW Kitchen Tour on Saturday, April 24.

The rest of the homes will remain unidentified until the day of the self-guided tour, which will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now for $14.

They are available at the Green Eyeshade and the Kitchen and Bath Studio in Port Townsend, Dream City Cafe on Airport Cutoff Road south of Port Townsend, Dana Pointe Interiors in Port Ludlow or by phoning 360-379-6454.

Tickets will be sold on the day of the tour, if they are available. They will be $18 at the Nordland Garden Club on Marrowstone Island, which will serve as the tour hospitality center.

History in use

The Baldwin kitchen is a history lesson unto itself.

Tichy modeled the cage bar after a feature of Williamsburg taverns, and Ken occasionally cooks a pot of chili in the fireplace using the antique cooking crane and warming plate.

But just driving up to the house and entering the front door is like stepping into a period drama.

On the left, Kitchen Tour guests can get a peek of the front parlor, with its recessed windows, fireplace and stairway leading up to the library on the railed balcony above.

Past the parlor, the front hall, which leads to the keeping room, has a mural of New England landscape painted by Cyndy Salisbury in the style of Rufus Porter, an 18th century artist.

The keeping room, open to the kitchen, offers a peaceful place to sit before the fireplace and sew or read, the more modern conveniences — television, sound systems — hidden behind bead-board doors.

In the kitchen, the appliances — refrigerator, dishwasher — are likewise hidden behind wooden doors.

Countertops of Vermont black slate bracket the apron front and hammered copper sinks.

Cabinets were built of hand-planed pine using pegged, mortised and tenon joinery; the plank floor was installed with hand-forged nails.

Outside the keeping room and kitchen, the view of the Williamsburg herb garden competes with the blue waters of Puget Sound.

‘Nantucket’ side

After touring the kitchen, guests pass through what the Baldwins call the “Nantucket” side of the house.

Built by Tichy six years ago as a summer residence, it consists of a large room, now the breakfast room, and a utility room and a small bedroom and bath, the latter decorated with memorabilia the couple brought back from visits to Nantucket.

The couple, who are originally from Ohio, also built a Georgian brick home in Southlake, Texas, when Ken Baldwin was an executive with Verizon.

When he retired in 2002, the couple built the rest of the Marrowstone Island house to go with the original part.

Building onto the house, which took two years to complete, is a concept familiar to the Colonials.

“The early settlers would build their smaller homes and add on,” Susie Baldwin says.

The Baldwins bought the waterfront property 10 years ago to be close to their daughters, who both settled in the Seattle area.


Port Townsend/Jefferson County Reporter-Columnist Jennifer Jackson can be reached at 360-379-5688 or

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