Little Bear Creek bisects this Woodinville property—and separates two distinct eras. On one side, there’s a three-bedroom house with a log cabin motif. On the other, a collection of Old West clapboard buildings ready to transport you back to the 1800s. Yes, your very own town.
Previous owner Walt “Doc” Jones assembled the four-building town, which he called Rusty Gulch, in the 1950s to house his giant collection of oddities and artifacts. A single row of buildings relocated from Silvania, Washington, includes a saloon, a barber shop, a jail, and a general store, plus an old whiskey still in the woods. He outfitted each building with period-appropriate items: He restored a player piano recovered from the old Rialto Theater and salvaged a bar from the original Silvania location. He stocked the general store with period-appropriate supplies, like a donkey-engine whistle.
Jones’s backyard eventually got so popular that he opened a museum just north of Lynnwood in the late 1950s, with attractions that spanned beyond the Wild West era: freak show and carnival curiosities, including a purported seven-foot-tall Viking, a House of Horrors, and old-timey fortune teller machines. Eventually, he built up enough hype to have a long-standing exhibition on the third floor of the Seattle Center Armory in the fall of 1963, just after the World’s Fair ended, along with a miniature museum and a Klondike museum. It closed up shop in 1980 after a rent dispute with the Center; many of the attractions were donated to what is now Seattle Children’s Hospital. Jones's collection still has a cult following, with a Facebook group where superfans share memories and photos. It even inspired poetry.
Today, the curiosities once displayed in Rusty Gulch have moved elsewhere, leaving surprisingly spacious interiors behind. Some spaces are still a little rustic, with vintage-style lighting and wood-slat walls. Others look a little sleeker, with white walls and gallery lighting. With multiple separate spaces, it would be pretty easy to give a distinct look to each one—a bar, a gallery, an office, a studio. The property includes parking for around 40 cars, so the possibility for epic parties is pretty endless.
While the headline here is clearly Rusty Gulch, the rest of the land is nothing to sneeze at: The five-acre property includes a quaint bridge over the creek and a firepit area. Log cabin accent walls decorate the main home and line the entire living room, home to a bold red fireplace, as well as the bright foyer with a cabin-style door. It was built in 1933, but appears to have been remodeled several times—leading to an eclectic layout with a large open kitchen, a five-piece bath with a jetted tub, and a covered deck with a hot tub. Large windows throughout frame the greenery outside.
Dense foliage delineates different pockets of space in the backyard, including a flat, tidy lawn. The town peeks out of a forested backdrop, down a serene trail from the bridge.
Listing Fast Facts
21802 State Route 9 SE, Woodinville
Size: 3,697 square feet/5 acres, 3 bedroom/5 bath
List Date: 7/13/2021
List Price: $1,800,000
Listing Agents: Kari Haas, Windermere Real Estate