The neighborhood is full of distinguished homes from a time when Grays Harbor was a wood basket for the growing West, and the people benefiting most were making big statements with the houses they built. They have newspaper clippings showing that from 1910 until 1948, Crary and his father-in-law, James Carter, were responsible for taking the local rainfall measurements and reporting them to the federal government.
With a sloping yard, the home sits well above the street and faces south, looking out over downtown and the Chehalis River as it widens to form Grays Harbor. From the street, the house looks imposing: two flights of wide-set concrete steps with stone side walls funnel guests up to a circular porch and double entry through a pair of white, Greek-style columns. Large, sliding wooden doors were installed to separate the mirrored floorplans, but the Hulschers seldom close them. Throughout the house, the Craftsman-style woodwork and built-in cabinetry is impressive both for the craftsmanship and the quality of tight-grained, old-growth lumber it was made from.
The bedrooms are on the second floor, which has stairs up to a huge attic where rafters and exposed woodwork again show off the size and quality of the lumber, which probably came from one of the many local mills. This large flat area on the rooftop surrounded by a heavy, metal railing offers a spectacular view of the Harbor and the ocean. Sherry taught English in the Hoquiam School District for 25 years and was a longtime violinist for the Grays Harbor Symphony. She doesn’t play much now because of arthritis, but musical instruments including a piano are present throughout the house, as much to entice grandchildren as for any other reason. Ron has had a long career in financial administration and still works part-time for Summit Pacific Medical Center. The size of the house has made it a logical crossroads and gathering spot over the years for kids and their friends, but that’s not all.
Ron remembers a time when a traveling choral group from Gonzaga Prep in Spokane was looking for host families in Aberdeen. The Hulschers said they they’d take two people – but plans fell through with some of the other volunteer hosts, leaving a busload with no place to go.