Port Townsend: Homes Tour highlights family heritage

PORT TOWNSEND — When Helen Gunn wants to remember what Port Townsend was like when her grandparents were young, she doesn’t have to visit the Jefferson County Historical Museum and look at the artifacts on display.

She keeps it all upstairs.

Gunn is the owner of the Rutz Building, a 2.5-story, wood-frame building on the corner of Lawrence and Polk streets.

Originally built as a pharmacy in 1889, the main floor has been a clothing store, soda fountain and medical office. It is now the Wild Coho cafe.

But upstairs, in the five-room apartment where the Rutz family once lived, Gunn’s family has accumulated four generations of local history, making it one of the most unusual stops on this weekend’s Homes Tour.

“It’s like stepping into a museum,” says Judy Chiles, co-chairman for the tour, which is sponsored by Jefferson Healthcare Auxiliary.

This year’s tour includes a restored church hall, a waterfront saloon and a 1909 yacht, which have been open in the past.

The Rutz apartment and Biram’s home are two of nine places open Saturday and Sunday for the tour, which includes a Victorian Tea House set up in the Masonic Hall.

Advance tickets are $13 for adults, $7 for children under 12.

For more information, call the Port Townsend Visitor Information Center at 360-385-2722 or e-mail info@ptchamber.org, or visit www.ptguide.com/homestour.

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