Canton, William J., House - Waterville, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 38.902 W 120° 04.633
10T E 719495 N 5281358
Containing both late Victorian Queen Anne Style and post-Victorian domestic architecture, the William Canton house was built in 1905.
Waymark Code: WMYDXN
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 06/03/2018
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Built in 1905 by local contractor W.C. Calhoun for lawyer and county prosecutor William J. Canton, the house is one of the most elaborate of the turn of the century residences in Waterville. A one and one-half story wood frame structure, the house stands on a parcel of five lots in the western end of the town. Under a cross gabled roof, the building is asymmetrical in design with a rounded verandah at the southeast corner, supported by seven smooth round wood columns. While the building as a whole is clad in clapboard siding with corner boards, each of the gable peaks is filled with shingles. The centre of the roof is actually a hipped roof, with a small dormer facing the front, south, side. A brick chimney with corbelled cap rises from the center of the hipped roof.

At the rear of the property a water tower was built at the same time as was the house and reputedly supplied much of the west side of the town with water.

William J. Canton House

Reflecting both the irregular forms of the late Queen Anne Style and the simplified ornament of post-Victorian domestic architecture, the William J. Canton House is a significant example of turn-of-the-century residential design in the small farming community of Waterville, Washington. The house is one of the best preserved and most elaborate from an early boom period in the city's history, and is closely associated with the career of attorney William Canton, a long-time Waterville lawyer, Douglas County prosecuting attorney and adjutant general of the Washington State National Guard.

William J. Canton was born in Leeds County, Ontario, on November 5, 1861, and raised on a farm in that rural community. After receiving a law degree from a Canadian university in 1879 (the youngest member of his class), he taught school at New Market, Ontario. In 1883| Canton enlisted in the United States Infantry. After serving four years, and attaining the rank of sergeant, Canton was discharged and settled in Nebraska until 1890 when he came West to South Bend, Washington. By June 1891, however, he arrived in Waterville and established a law practice in the young county seat.

Canton was a successful attorney in Waterville and was instrumental in the establishment of local and state militia. In 1892, he organized a National Guard company in Douglas County (which met in the Armory Hall in the Kincaid Building on Chelan Avenue) and, in 1898, he was appointed adjutant general of the state militia by Governor John Rogers. In that capacity, Canton was responsible for preparing Washington units for actions in the SpanishAmerican War. In the fall of 1898, Canton was appointed major of the first company of Washington volunteers sent to the Philippines and he remained at the warfront for nearly a year. In November 1899, he was mustered out and returned to his law practice in Waterville.

In 1904, Canton was elected prosecuting attorney for the county and served several years in that capacity. In 1905, he hired W.C. Calhoun, a local builder, to construct a house for $3,500 on a large parcel west of downtown. The newspaper reported that the building was "the handsomest structure in town." An informal survey of the city indicates that the house is one of only a few turn-of-the-century residences which reflect popular styles and retain integrity. The water tower on the property reputedly supplied water for the west end of the community. In 1912, the property was purchased by rancher Charles Fletcher, whose family owned the property until about 1950.
From the NRHP Registration Form
Street address:
305 West Ash Street
Waterville, WA United States

County / Borough / Parish: Douglas

Year listed: 1988

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Politics/Government, Architecture

Periods of significance: 1900-1924

Historic function: Domestic - Single Dwelling

Current function: Domestic - Single Dwelling

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Nearest Geocaches
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.