A North End Tacoma home is now a landmark

A 107-year-old home with ties to a Tacoma family that was once a heavyweight in the timber industry has been added to Tacoma’s register of historic places.

A nomination to place the so-called “Ella and John Snyder House,” which is located at 612 North 4th Street in the Stadium-Seminary National Historic District, on the historic register was prepared by owners Ken House and Lisa Robinson. House is a member of Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

According to the nomination, the home was once owned by John Snyder, who founded three Tacoma lumber mills, including Clear Fir Lumber Company. He was also one of three Tacoma City Councilmembers who traveled to Philadelphia in 1892 to negotiate the purchase of the Tacoma Light and Water Company from Charles B. Wright. Later, Snyder’s son, Frost, also a prominent figure in the local timber industry, owned the home for a period before it was sold to Kenneth Roegner, a long-time Commonwealth Title executive.

The shingle- and Craftsman-style home was designed by Tacoma architect Ambrose J. Russell, who designed the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, in addition to significant Tacoma buildings such as the Tacoma Armory, the Masonic Temple, and the Perkins Building downtown.

Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public meeting on March 14 to discuss the nomination, a public hearing on April 25 to receive public comment and consider the historic significance of the property, and approved the nomination on April 25. It was then forwarded to Tacoma City Council for final approval. City Council approved a resolution Tuesday officially adding the building to the city’s historic register.

“Mr. House researched and wrote this nomination and deserves a lot of credit for a wonderful job,” said Tacoma historic preservation officer Reuben McKnight during the meeting Tuesday. He added that historic designation would protect the home for future generations in Tacoma.

The "Ella and John Snyder House," which is located at 612 North 4th Street in the Stadium-Seminary National Historic District, as it appeared in 1906 (left) and today (right). The house was added to Tacoma's register of historic places this week.