Seattle Landmarks: William H. Thompson House (1894)
Address: 3119 S Day Street, Seattle. In 1894, Ernest A. MacKay built an 18-room mansion in the Mount Baker district. He chose a late Victorian Queen Anne design with a three-story octagonal tower, scallop-shingled gables and a verandah that wrapped around the house. It was sited to take advantage of views to the north and east. Cost of construction was $8,000.
Seattle attorney William H. Thompson (1848-1918) acquired the house in 1897 and he lived there until 1917. Thompson was general counsel for the Great Northern Railway and a partner in the firm Thompson, Edson, and Humphries. He also published poems and other literary works. Thompson was originally from Georgia and at age 15, he joined the Confederate Army, seeing action at Spotsylvania Courthouse and The Wilderness. After the war he trained as an engineer and as a lawyer, gaining some stature in Indiana. He moved to Seattle in 1889. In his later years, he was given the honorary title of Colonel.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the home was used as the Mount Baker Sanitariums. In 1940, it was transformed into a rooming house for young women.
In 1974, Gary and Gretchen LaTurner purchased the house, which by that time had 11 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and 4 kitchens. They undertook to restore the home.
On August 14, 1978, the Seattle City Council named the residence a Seattle Landmark and it was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Landmarks Preservation Board, 700 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, Washington;
Lawrence Kreisman, Made to Last: Historic Preservation in Seattle and King County, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 65;
"Col. Will H. Thompson Sumoned By Death," The Seattle Daily Times, August 10, 1918, p. 4.