CAPTAIN JOSEPH CLAPP HOUSE – May 22, 2015

Since everyone seemed to enjoy my little history lesson on Toby’s Tavern’s past I thought I’d give you a little more Coupeville history.

Back at the turn of the century, the 20th century of course, Coupeville was a very popular place for sea captains to live. In the middle to late 1800’s there were approximately eleven sea captains residing here in our wee town. One of the nicknames for Coupeville was “City of Sea Captains”.

Many of them were responsible for the building of some wonderful Victorian homes around town.

Joseph-Clapp

In 1886 Captn. Clapp and his wife Mary (Molly) purchased this home that was built in the same year. They resided there for fifty years.

From the first printing of “Sea Captains of Whidbey Island” in 1946 it said that “Captain J. W. Clapp is our oldest living pioneer sea captain.” Professor Edmond S. Meany wrote: “Fortunately we have a number of old pioneers still living among us. How much more wholesome it is that we extend to them the flowers of our appreciation while the handclasp of friendship is still possible.” Nicely said!

Captn. Clapp made various voyages around the world. The ships he commanded were: “Charmer”, “Atalanta”, “Jabey Howes” and “General Buster”. This is an artists rendering of one of the ships he sailed, the “Atalanta”.

Atalanta

Here’s how his home looked “back in the day”.

Old-Clapp-House

This is as it looked this morning during my walk.

05-22-15-Joseph-Clapp-House

There was an addition to the right side in the 1920’s because it had become to difficult for the Clapp’s to climb the stairs so they added a lower bedroom which today is a library. Ron VanDyk, I believe, is the current owner. He has done a wonder job of restoration and extensive work like repairing the foundation. The reason I say that “I believe he’s the current owner” is because my source of information is from the wonderful book about Coupeville homes called “Ancestral Walls” by Sally Hayton-Keeva, written in 2003.

Sadly the roof is in a terrible state of disrepair and needs to be replaced. Here’s a hole near the top of the roof.

05-22-15-Clapp-hole

And there was a big hole over the library that has since been covered with black plastic.

05-22-15-Clapp-roof

It takes a lot to keep up with these 150 year old homes and I hope they get a handle on the roof soon.

And one quick update on Toby’s Tavern refacing. Here’ where they had progressed to today.

05-22-15-Tobys

So that’s your history lesson for today and it’s probably enough to last you through the Memorial Day weekend. Please be sure to pause and give thanks to all those brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

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