The Picket House, a modest cedar-slab home on a hill near Bellingham Bay, packs a lot of history into its humble footprint, with ties to pioneer Whatcom County, the "Pig War" on San Juan Island and the bloody Civil War.
The house at 910 Bancroft St. was built in 1856 by Capt. George Pickett, who served with the U.S. Army in the mid-1800s and later, as a native Virginian, led a famous but doomed Confederate charge at Gettysburg.
The house is the oldest documented wooden building on its original site in Washington, according to Whatcom Chapter 5 of Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, which owns and maintains the house.
A hero of the Mexican War, Pickett was assigned to build Fort Bellingham to provide security to early settlers on the bay and to build a military road from Fort Bellingham to Fort Steilacoom.
In 1859, he landed his company on San Juan Island to defend America's claim to the island and to defy superior British forces at the outset of the Pig War, so-called because tensions rose when a British-owned pig foraged a bit too much in an American settler's garden.
Tours of the Pickett House are generally the second Sunday of each month, with the next tour from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 8.
Reach Dean Kahn at 360-715-2291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.