Auburn Historic Sites Tour

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324 "B" Street NE
Oscar & Ellen Blomeen Home

Constructed 1912-1914
This unique house was designed by an owner/builder who combined popular late 19th and early 20th century features successfully to create a particularly distinctive residence. Of special note are the corner turret with conical roof and ornate curved verandah derived from the Queen Anne style, and the low-pitched roof form with wide overhangs, exposed rafters, ornate kneebraces and shingle cladding derived from Craftsman stylistic influences.

Oscan Blomeen and his future wife, Ellen Wennergren, were Swedish immigrants who came to America in 1901. They were married a fews after immigrating, had a son Nels, born in 1909, and moved to a house on "E" Street SW. Oscar and his twin brother, Carl, opened a machine shop on Main Street. Oscar later went to work as a machinist for Borden's Condenser. Between 1911 and 1912, the Blomeens purchased two lots on what was then called Catalpa or Nevada Street (now known as "B" Street NE) and built a small house on the north lot. After the birth of two daughters, Elsie and Lela, plans were made to build a larger home. The story told by the Blomeen children is that disparaging comments made by neighbors regarding their small house amidst this street of "finer" homes led Oscar to retreat to his basement. After three days, he had drawn up the plans for this substantial home. He reportedly carried the lumber on his back from a Main Street lumber yard, and he finished building the home himself in two years.

During World War I, Oscar worked in the Bremerton Navy yard and rented out the "Big House" to a Mrs. Stone, who operated Auburn's first hospital here in order to deal with the 1917-19 influenza epidemic. She later used it as a maternity ward. The small operating room and tiny assistant's medicine room are still in place on the second floor.