McReavy House Union, Mason County:
Constructed in 1890, the McReavy House, a Victorian mansion located on the hill in the center of Union, is believed to be one of the earliest houses on Hood Canal. John McReavy prospered as the principal lumberman on Hood Canal from 1870 to 1893, served in the Territorial Legislature and signed the document declaring Washington’s statehood.McReavy played a key role in the development of Union City, as it was known in the early 1890s, and was engaged in the construction of the hotel, wharf, sawmill, store,Masonic Lodge and church.However,McReavy’s financial success ended with the panic of 1893, leaving him only his house.
The area later rebounded with resort business development on Hood Canal in the early decades of the 20th century and the establishment of Orre Nobles’ Olympus Manor artist colony in the 1920s.After McReavy’s death in 1918, his daughter Nell remained in the house for more than fifty years, and his descendants continue to own the property. Although many of its original features remain intact, the McReavy House has suffered from abandonment and neglect in addition to years of deferred maintenance and several unsympathetic alterations, requiring extensive rehabilitation to restore it to its former prominence. In addition, the site’s potential for development threatens the historic residence as it contains six buildable lots with stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Hood Canal. If the McReavy House is not preserved, the lots will be marketed for sale. In hopes of saving the house from ultimately being lost, several local community members have formed the McReavy House Museum of Hood Canal Foundation. Their mission is to preserve the house by operating an arts and cultural center that will interpret the history and development of Hood Canal and offer space for local artists to showcase their work, honoring the tradition set forth by the artist’s colony
at nearby Olympus Manor. Moved by these efforts, the present owners of McReavy House intend to donate the property to the foundation along with the original library and furniture. Despite this generous gift, much work remains in order to secure and preserve the house interior.
How the house looks today:
Picture of Mr. John McReavy (aka Senator McReavy)