The State Historic Preservation Officer and DAHP staff are sadly reminded about the fragility of our heritage resources with the sudden and complete destruction of the Miller-Brewer House near the Grand Mound community in south Thurston County. Katherine Kelly, Archaeologist for the State Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) informed DAHP late Tuesday (8/22) of the threat of a wind-driven wild fire on private land near DFW’s Scatter Creek Wildlife Area on which the Miller-Brewer House was located. Kelly’s visit to the site on Wednesday afternoon confirmed fears the the house and the nearby barn were consumed by the flames. The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Washington Heritage Register and the Thurston County Register of Historic Places.
According to the National Register nomination authored by Historian Shanna Stevenson, the side gabled building with Greek Revival influences dates to before the Civil War. Both Miller and Brewer served in the Territorial Legislature and Brewer held other local public offices.
In 2007, Artifacts Consulting worked on behalf of the Thurston County Historical Commission to produce a historic structures report (HSR) for the house. Serving as a thorough documentation of the building and a guide for future stewardship, the HSR describes Miller-Brewer as “One of Washington state’s rare resources, this box frame–construction residence is an important example of building technology and materials, using heavy vertical cedar planks attached to beams and ledgers for the structure. As a representative example of this construction type, the house is one of Washington’s most intact (including rare nineteenth century interior decorative finishes) and best constructed example.”