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Whidbey Xtra! WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2015 | Vol. 1, No. 35 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | FREE

Group gives final push to safe historic Haller House By RON NEWBERRY

rnewberry@whidbeynewsgroup.com

The sleek new sign placed at the corner of Front and Main streets in Coupeville last spring was intended to pose as a classy introduction to a historically significant 19th century grand residence and bring attention to a cause. Lynn Hyde now wonders if the fancy sign might’ve given a false impression about her group’s progress. “I think there’s a misperception with the public,” Hyde said. Hyde, one of the founders of a Whidbey Island nonprofit group aimed at helping protect and promote historic sites, is increasingly worried about the fate of the Haller House. Her group, Historic Whidbey, has campaigned for more than two years to try to acquire the property and turn it into a unique territorial-era interpretive center that she believes would have broad public appeal. For the past 17 months, the group has raised enough money to pay a lease and keep the home off the market but is finding it difficult to keep asking donors to give to a cause that is not leading to the property’s purchase. Faced with that situation, Hyde said her group is making one final bold push to acquire the Haller

Ron Newberry photo

Lynn Hyde is one of the founders of a nonprofit group working to acquire and protect the Haller House on Front Street. House outright and is starting a new campaign to illustrate what that would mean for the public. The group is looking to raise $250,000 by May 15 to acquire the property, which is owned by the McPherson family of Coupeville. The timing is linked to a deadline for a state matching grant that is offered only every two years, Hyde said.

The Heritage Capital Projects Fund grant is a two-to-one match, meaning Historic Whidbey must raise two-thirds of the amount. To qualify for the grant, the group would need $180,000 in cash donations in hand and $70,000 in pledges by May 15. “It’s a Legislature program that comes up every two years and 2016 is the year,” Hyde said. “We

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weren’t able to apply in 2014. We weren’t ready. It’s a matching grant, which is why we weren’t ready.” The fear that the Haller House could be lost is what prompted Historic Whidbey to start up informally in November of 2012 when the house went on the market. The group got its nonprofit status in May of 2014 and entered

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a lease agreement with the McPhersons a month later, taking on the mission to protect and preserve the house as its inaugural project. As a historian and preservationist, Hyde views the Haller House as an invaluable property to not only early Whidbey Island history but to Washington state as well. The home, built in 1866, was once the grand residence of Col. Granville Haller and his wife Henrietta. Haller was a wellknown U.S. Army officer who served in the Civil War and led groups of militia in regional wars against Native Americans in the Northwest. Henrietta Haller was known for her elaborate gardens on the property. During construction, the home was connected to the Raphael Brunn House, which was built in 1859. Hyde envisions the Haller House as a public showcase and interpretative center for the early territorial period in Washington that separates Central Whidbey from any other place in the state. Coupeville, the state’s secondoldest town, is currently home to two dozen structures that were built between the 1850s and 1870s, more than double any other town in Washington, accordSEE HOUSE, PAGE 3


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Xtra!CALENDAR Wednesday Dec. 23

Alcoholics Anonymous, 7 p.m., Dec. 23, 27 and 30, in the Whidbey General Hospital conference room. Contact Tim M. at timmondk@hotmail.com or 360-320-8936 for more information.

Monday Dec. 28

Winter Extravaganza: Jeff Evans Presents Science Magic, 11 a.m., Dec. 28, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Learn about the way objects behave and the scientific reasons why they behave this way. Science magician Jeff Evans combines science and magic. For children ages five and older. 360675-5115.

Digital Downloads OverDrive and 3M Cloud Library, 2 p.m., Dec. 28, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Learn how to access Sno-Isle’s growing collection of digital books and audiobooks. Find out how to locate, borrow and download books to your computer or mobile device. Bring your library card and device for hands-on help. 360-675-5115.

Tuesday Dec. 29

Toastmasters Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 29, at the VFW on Goldie Road in Oak Harbor. Toastmasters provides a supportive and positive learning environment to assist you in developing communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence

and personal growth. Open to the public. Email Teresa Coe at vppr-4902@ toastmastersclubs.org or visit http://whidbeysounders.toastmastersclubs.org for more information.

Wednesday Dec. 30

Gansango Music and Dance, 3 p.m., Dec. 30, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Families will learn about the dances and culture of West Africa as they interact with teacher and choreographer Etienne Cakpo, originally from Benin. This program is for children ages five and older and an accompanying guardian. 360-675-5115.

Thursday Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve party,

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015 • WhidbeyXtra!

5K RESOLUTION RUN AND POLAR BEAR PLUNGE:11 a.m., Jan. 1 at Windjammer Park, Oak Harbor. 5K fun run benefitting local charities starts at 11 a.m. at the lagoon; kids lap around the lagoon starts at 11:30 a.m. Polar bear plunge begins at noon in lagoon. No registration or entry fee, however, arrive early to sign a waiver. Donations of canned food or cash for local charities accepted. 360-929-2489.

9 p.m., Dec. 31, VFW, 3037 Goldie Road, Oak Harbor. Celebrate the New Year with games and prizes, music by Paul’s entertainment, and a champagne toast at midnight. $5 cover charge. 360-7209415. New Year’s Eve fireworks, 9 p.m., Dec. 31, Windjammer Park, Oak Harbor. Fireworks show sponsored by Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce. A 12-minute show.

Saturday Jan. 3

Alcoholics Anonymous, 7 p.m., Jan. 3, in the Whidbey General Hospital conference room. Contact Tim M. at timmondk@hotmail.com or 360-320-8936 for more information.

Sunday Jan. 4

Digital Downloads - Zinio, Freegal, and Hoopla, 10 a.m., Jan. 4, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Learn how to access free movies, music and magazines on your computer or mobile device. Find out how to stream movies, download music legally and more. Bring your own library card and device. 360-6755115. Journaling Workshop for Caregivers, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Jan. 4, Coupeville Library. The simple act of putting thoughts to paper has psychological power. Join this fun, informal workshop to motivate you to write your feelings about caregiving. Arlene West House, author, facilitator and caregiver, will

guide you through the process that recalibrates your mindset and helps you through your challenges and losses. Please bring a notebook, journal or diary. Funded by Friends of the Coupeville Library. Free. 360-6784911.

Monday Jan. 5

Seattle Opera Preview: “The Marriage of Figaro,” 2-3 p.m., Jan. 5, Coupeville Library. Join Seattle Opera’s Nick Malinowski for an hourlong introduction to the music, history and stagecraft of Seattle Opera’s upcoming production “The Marriage of Figaro.” Supported by Friends of the Coupeville Library. Free. 360-678-4911.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015 • WhidbeyXtra!

HOUSE

CONTINUED FROM 1 ing to Hyde. Washington didn’t become a state until 1889. As part of their campaign over the next six months, Hyde said she and other Historic Whidbey members will emphasize what acquiring the house would mean for the community. Calling it a heritage campus, the house would serve as an interactive interpre-

tive center that would focus on life on Whidbey from when white settlers first landed in 1850 until 1873 when the railroad arrived in the Northwest. Hyde said she could write a book about the first quarter century of white settlement on Whidbey and probably will, calling the territorial era “by far the most fascinating but also

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the least known.” She called it a wild time when many men joined forces to help fight against Native Americans east of the Cascades, while leaving their families stranded on an island where thousands of local Indians lived and tribes from the north would invade. “Talk about a crazy time to be alive on Whidbey Island in the 1850s and nobody’s heard of it,” she said. “So with this house, there isn’t conceivably a better house to talk about this

period and to make it come such as ranger talks or “It’s good for all of our alive.” music performances. mental health to have an The group also wants Lastly, Historic Whidbey emotional connection to to showcase the home’s wants to use part of the where we live,” she said. unique architecture of that house to create a gift shop “When you live in a place time and continue talks in the appearance of a mer- where ever yone comes with the Town of Coupeville cantile store that would from somewhere else, to consider using the lot raise money to help sup- it’s a disadvantage for the behind the house as part port maintenance of the community because the of a demonstrative inter- property. emotional investment isn’t “It would be like walking there. Having these kinds pretive garden, illustrating some of the gardening into a 19th century mercan- of places where people can develop that emotional conpractices used by Henrietta tile store,” Hyde said. Haller and in other town Hyde, who hails from the nection to where they live, gardens during that period. east coast, said it’s impor- it’s huge. It’s huge for the Another wish for that tant for people from Central direction our regional culback lot is REAL amphitheater Whidbey to know the sto- ture will take in the coming ESTATE AGENT-CONT. SEWING MACHINE space for public programs century.” ries of their origin. Judith Zapanta-Borras & VACUUM REPAIR Managing Broker, Windermere Island Sewing and Vacuum 32785 SR 20 Ste 4, Oak Harbor 31570 SR 20 Ste 101, Oak Harbor customerservice@islandsewnvac.com judithzapanta@windermere.com www.islandsewandvac.com www.judithzapanta.withwre.com 360-679-2282 360-914-7759(c) 360-675-5953 (ofc) Julie Kinnaird

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Special Sections - WHIDBEY XTRA Dec 23 2015  

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Special Sections - WHIDBEY XTRA Dec 23 2015  

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