A GRAND HOME WITH A GRAND HISTORY…
Built at the turn of the 20th century by David Ferguson, this Laurelhurst icon was originally a farmhouse. The Seattle Golf Club rented the site and home, which became the clubhouse for a new golfing venture in 1900. The grounds were maintained with a horse drawn mower and surrounded by beautiful cherry trees. When President Taft spent a day on the course, he stated, “I remember the cherries more than I do the greens”! Nestled amongst tall stands of Douglas fir, and boasting three peaked dormers and 24-inch cedar shingles, the three-story home, which stood high above the golf course, became the new clubhouse.
As Laurelhurst was totally undeveloped at the time, access to the golf course was challenging. Golfing enthusiasts would ride the Madison street cable car from the center of Seattle to the Lake Washington end of line where they would board the Sunny Jim water taxi for an eight minute cruise to the golf course landing, which is now the Laurelhurst Beach Club. Golfers would then ascend the 100ft ravine up to the clubhouse to start their play. After seven years of operation, the Seattle Golf Club decided it was time to expand and look for a larger property. By this time the Ferguson property had become a valuable piece of real estate and was purchased by the Seaboard Security Company for $100,000. With that sum, the Seattle Golf Club bought several hundred acres in the Highlands, where the golf club remains today.
The publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Alonzo Taylor, eventually purchased the abandoned course. The Laurelhurst neighborhood was on its way to becoming a beautiful residential district. Taylor spent a large sum of money converting the clubhouse back to a grand residence, and ultimately the former clubhouse was moved to what is now 5100 NE Latimer Place. In 1916, the Taylor’s Laurelhurst “estate” was one of the settings for a film, “The Bride of the Dawn.” It was touted as Seattle’s very first feature motion picture. It was made to raise money for the Seattle Association for the Blind, of which Mrs. Taylor was secretary and treasurer. She was also in the motion picture. The home is now considered one of the most historic and notable homes in Laurelhurst.