The house at 1209 E. Washington is a small, one-story cottage with a pyramidal hipped roof and minimal architectural embellishments. Boise City building permit records confirm that it was constructed in the summer of 1912 for $500. In 1933 an unspecified addition was constructed – likely at the rear. While unconfirmed, it is possible that the exterior walls were altered with the addition of shingle siding at the same time. This would have allowed a uniform appearance between the original house and the addition and was a common aesthetic choice during the era to modernize older dwellings. In 1956 some window elements were replaced, and the rear patio was roofed in 1962. It is unclear when the front porch was enclosed, but Sanborn maps suggest that this was done after 1956.
The cottage was built by Thomas Wade McQueen who quickly sold it for a $200 profit in August of 1912 – just two months after receiving the building permit. McQueen built a much larger, $2,000 Craftsman home for himself at 912 E. Bannock within months of completing the Washington Street cottage. Little is known of McQueen’s biography, but he frequently received attention in the Boise newspaper for his skill as a baseball player and he married Robbie Wilson (1887-1972) at Caldwell in the spring of 1911.
In August of 1912, McQueen sold the Washington Street house to a partnership of John Oscar Rose and Seraphin D. De Cloedt (1847-1923). De Cloedt, a native of Belgium, immigrated to North America at age 22 before making his way to the Boise Valley in 1887. At his 160-acre ranch, a mile north of Cole School on the Bench, he farmed, raised stock, and dabbled in real estate development. His 1912 purchase of the cottage was an investment and he never occupied the house. No biographical information has been found for De Cloedt’s investment partner, John Rose, although he was noted as a resident of Nampa.
During the two-year ownership of Rose and De Cloedt, the Washington Street cottage was rented. One tenant, A.E. Embry, made the news when he interrupted a burglary at the house in February of 1914. Embry, who worked nights, returned home at approximately 4AM. Entering through the back door, he surprised the thief who escaped through the front of the house and disappeared into the night. Nothing was stolen.
Cloedt and Rose sold the house in June of 1914 to Charles and Susan Arbuckle. Charles H. Arbuckle (1862-1945), a native of Illinois, settled permanently in Idaho in 1894. Self-described as “the oldest Democrat in Idaho” at his death, Arbuckle was elected and appointed to a series of political posts. Elected in 1899 to represent Owyhee County in the 5th session of the Idaho legislature, his vocal backing of Idaho’s first game law resulted in his appointment as Idaho’s first State Game Warden by Governor Steunenberg. Later, having served in Washington, D.C. as staff to Idaho’s Senator Perky, Arbuckle returned to Boise where President Woodrow Wilson appointed him U.S. Deputy Marshal for Idaho – a post he held from 1914 to 1918. His career in law enforcement continued as lead detective and then Chief of the Boise police department. Following an unsuccessful campaign for mayor, Arbuckle left Boise in the spring of 1923 but had returned two years later when his wife, Susan (1859-1925), died at a local hospital. Having sold the house on East Washington by 1927, Charles Arbuckle died in Boise at the age of 82.
Five days after losing the political race for Boise mayor, Charles Arbuckle advertised his home for sale. Offered at the price of $1,200, the “three-room house” had “two good porches,” “electric lights,” and a chicken house and coal shed on a large lot with lawn, shade trees, and berry bushes. Apparently, the house didn’t sell and was offered for rent in August. Likely rented for the next three years, the “semi-modern” house was once again advertised for sale in April of 1927.
Charles and Sarah Williams had purchased the house by February of 1928 when Charles took out a classified ad in the Idaho Statesman which announced the impending dissolution of their marriage. Sarah Margaret Williams (1879-1943) owned the house until her death. Under her ownership, the three-room cottage was enlarged in 1933.
Within two months of the death of Sarah Williams, newspaper notice of a building permit confirms that the house was owned by Charles and Katie Carter. Soon after acquisition, the Carters repaired the foundation and reshingled the roof. Later, under the Carter’s ownership, alterations were made to the building’s windows and porches. Not much is known of Charles Ryland Carter (1874-1947). A native of Virginia, he moved to Boise in 1910. Charles married Catherine (Katie) May Carter (1879-1968) at Marshall, Missouri in 1898. Katie Carter, a native of Missouri, lived at the house on East Washington from 1943 until her death in 1968.
Mrs. C.R. Carter (Katie Carter’s) granddaughter shared this memory with the current owner:
“ The neighbor to the immediate west of you, when we were growing up in the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, was Joe Schmoeger, who founded and owned American Cleaning Company and went on to develop Foothills East. He rigged up a bell with a string that went across from my grandmother’s tiny bedroom to their house, in the event she needed them. The next neighbors to occupy that house were Floyd and Fern Bagley. The neighbors to the immediate East of you were a set of twins who never married, Evelyn and Esther Nystrom. One of them headed up the University of Idaho Extension office on Boise.”
The house at 1209 E Washington is part of the De Lamar Addition: Prior to 1890, there were few residents in the east side of Boise. Major commercial and residential development was around Main and Grove Streets near the downtown core. The establishment of the streetcar line and development of a geothermal heating system in 1890 was instrumental in neighborhood growth. The East Side Addition was platted that year and the lots in the subdivision quickly sold out. In 1892, Joseph Raphael De Lamar, platted De Lamar’s Addition between Locust and Pierce Streets. De Lamar was a prominent financier and speculator who invested in mines in Idaho and Colorado. He was one of the leading owners of mines in the Owyhee Mountains southwest of Boise and invested heavily in mines on Florida Mountain. By 1892, he had made a fortune from gold and silver mines in the Owyhees. Besides platting the De Lamar Addition, he invested in real estate throughout the city. Over the next ten years, based on newspaper reports of Boise’s real estate transactions and Boise’s real estate market, property in De Lamar Addition was bought and sold. Sales were handled by W.E. Pierce & Company, who offered ”Special low prices in DeLamar’s Addition”, but home construction did not pick up until after the turn of the 20th century
NOTE: This submission was created from research done by Dan Everhart, a local Architectural Historian for the current owner.
Information on the De Lamar Addition comes from research done by TAG Historical Research for the current owner.
The anecdote from Mrs. Carter’s granddaughter was shared directly with the current owner.