History of the Homes
704 N. Main Street, Coupeville, Washington
Coupe-Gillespie House -1891 / Blue Goose Inn
James Gillespie was born in Wisconsin in 1853. His parents were from New Brunswick and Ireland and they all lived in Wisconsin until the lure of the West attracted them in 1856. They sold their farm and booked passage for the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in Portland Oregon.
James stayed on the family’s land claim at Snakelum until 1885, when he moved into Coupeville. In 1875, he married Keturah Coupe, daughter of Captain Thomas Coupe. In 1887 he bought a parcel of land from Abram Alexander on Front Street and built a small shop where he worked as a meat cutter for many years.
This home, a curious blend of Italianate style and American Foursquare design was built by James Gillespie. James and his wife Keturah Coupe who was the daughter of Coupeville founder Capt. Thomas Coupe, lived in the home at its original location on the corner of 6th and Main Street. The original design featured the traditional four rooms over four rooms layout with four small bedrooms up and a two parlors, a kitchen and dining room below. Modifications included the add-on single-story extension on the back of the house, which is now the modern kitchen.
The home was moved to the corner of 4th and Kinney when the county courthouse annex was built in 1972. Just eighteen years later, it was loaded on another truck and moved to its present location on Main Street where it started a new life as part of a bed and breakfast inn. Many of the original fixtures were damaged or removed during the two moves. In the process the home has undergone several interior renovations and remodels. Interior walls and doors have been moved so that now the home has just two large bedrooms upstairs with en-suite baths. The original twin parlors, separated by oversized gliding pocket doors, are now another bedroom suite with private bath. The present owners have restored the original marbleized stone fireplace and installed antique light fixtures and furnishings throughout the home.
This early artists rendition of the home shows a missing Cupula serving as a charming look-out tower. It’s not clear if this was ever part of the design, or just a dream of a past owner, but this feature was sometimes used with homes of this style.
Read about the history of the John & Jane Kineth House, 1887