UNION GAP, Wash. — In 1884, when Yakima’s buildings were rolled north to create a new city at its present site, one — the Spring Creek homestead — remained behind.
Today, the building is a popular venue for weddings, parties and other social events. It is cited as the Yakima Valley’s oldest existing homestead.
It began as the home of Dr. Lewis H. Goodwin and his wife, Priscilla, who arrived by wagon train in 1865 and built the house near the creek, according to Spring Creek’s website.
Priscilla died within a few years of arriving and is buried in the nearby Pioneer Graveyard.
Dr. Goodwin moved to Walla Walla, but his son, George remained. He sold the estate to the Wheeler family in 1895. The Wheelers rebuilt parts of the house and added several features that are still standing today. The most notable addition is the milk barn.
The current owners, the Rasmussen family, bought the estate in 1995.
Many original features of Spring Creek’s buildings have retained or been restored. One of the most notable features in the house is a massive stone fireplace in the living room.
“Its homey; it’s cozy,” said Julie Schilling, the site’s manager. “You feel like you’ve just walked into part of time.”
To help create that feeling of historical ambiance, the house is decorated with old photographs and antiques from the early 1900s, including many that were found in the barn.
While most visitors come for events, people can walk around the grounds. Every October, Spring Creek hosts a 15-acre corn maze.
“It’s huge,” Schilling said. “They have people inside that would help you get out if you get lost.”
Schilling especially enjoys the creek that gives the estate its name.
The creek takes on an ethereal look in winter months, she said.
The spring feeds the creek with warm water, which gives off steam and draws birds.
In the spring and summer, flowers along the creek are in bloom.
“Its history, but its very relaxing,” Schilling said.
Spring Creek Homestead is located at 3213 Tacoma St.