King County Landmarks: Captain Thomas Phillips House (1925), Burton, Vashon Island
Address: 11312 SW 232nd Street, Burton, Vashon Island. Captain Phillips played an important role in the history of Puget Sound's "Mosquito Fleet" of steamboats (so called because they swarmed the inland waters and were considered pests by larger ocean-going vessels). The fleet carried passengers, supplies, mail, and freight among settlements along the coastline from Olympia to Port Townsend during an era when boats provided the only reliable transportation among isolated waterfront communities.
Phillips started his seafaring career at age 14, and served as Captain of well-known steamers including the George E. Starr, Vashon, Dove, and ferry Kitsap. Most of his work related in some way to Vashon Island, his home. His modest one-story Craftsman house sits on a large flat lot west of Burton on Vashon Island.