Image: Josh Marshall

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. 

Image: Josh Marshall

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.

Image: TrueOne Group

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.

Image: Josh Marshall

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.

Image: TrueOne Group

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

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