Location: Coupeville, Island County
Unlike most of Coupeville’s early settlers, Colonel Granville Haller was neither a farmer nor involved in maritime commerce; he was a career military man who fought in the Mexican- American War, the Indian Wars on Puget Sound of the 1850s, the “Pig War” on San Juan Island, and the Civil War. Relieved of duty following the Battle of Gettysburg, Haller returned to Puget Sound and settled in downtown Coupeville, building a two-story Georgian structure connected to an existing one-story house of plank construction already present on the site. Haller sold the house in 1879, opting to relocate once again, this time to Seattle. For the next 125 years, the house served as a private residence but witnessed very few alterations. The plan is primarily intact, as are many of the finishes, providing a rare glimpse into mid-19th century domestic life.
The house went on the real estate market and for six years, Historic Whidbey hit the pavement to raise the needed funding to purchase the historic Haller House in Coupeville. Historic Whidbey was founded on the premise of saving the Haller House to “engage the public with early stories of the Pacific Northwest as illustrated through the military, commercial and political activities of Col. Haller.” In doing so, the group capitalized on partnerships at all levels, with funding through grants from the National Park Foundation, the National Park Trust, the Norcliffe Foundation, and the Coupeville Lions Club. The deal also relied on private donations from citizens as well as a preservation easement purchased by the National Park Service. Despite some seemingly impassable roadblocks along the way, Historic Whidbey never faltered in their ambition to acquire the Haller House. In this way, the group represents the best of grassroots preservation efforts having a positive impact on the community. We’re happy to deem the Haller House a “Save!”
Now comes fun part – the path toward rehabilitation!
Haller House in the News:
“Group inks deal for one of state’s oldest homes” – Whidbey News Times, November 2,2018
“Campaign to buy historic Coupeville House revived” – Whidbey News Times, March 30, 2018