SEATTLE — Moving is never easy. So just imagine moving an historic and priceless stone-covered building filled with generations of stories.
"History runs deep," said King County council member Joe McDermott, "This place matters."
Neighbors of the quirky cottage along West Seattle's Harbor Avenue are fighting to preserve its stories for the generations to come.
Community leader Tom Rasmussen said, "The reality is we have to act soon. Time and gravity are not on the side of this building."
Neighbors have gathered to witness history on the move, as a specialized crew rolls the structure down the road about one mile, to be temporarily stored in a vacant parking lot.
A woman named Eva Falk and her mother built the stone cottage during the Great Depression, with some help from jobless men.
"She would house them and feed them and they would help her put the rocks on the building," said preservationist John Bennett, "She was in a cult, a religious cult in Ballard for awhile. She married a strongman in the circus who was reportedly able to bend horseshoes with his teeth."
Carmecita Muñoz is Eva's daughter. As a little girl, she helped fetch the beach stones that line the building's walls.
Muñoz said, "We walked around Alki, the two miles past the lighthouse, to pick up the stones. I was told to either pick up black rocks only or white, for the trim."
Ken Workman, a descendent of Chief Seattle, says the home's wood and stone forever hold the spirit of the Duwamish.
"These rocks right here were gathered from the beach. Inside the house, one of the supporting walls, are massive cedar timbers that were hand-split and hand-hewn," Workman explained, "And so, from a native perspective, this is home."
At 2:30 in the morning, the little stone cottage, covered in 15,000 stones, is lifted onto a truck.
"I'm real confident we're going to be able to move it without breaking it," Bennett said.
Moving at the speed of a leisurely stroll, the historic structure makes its way down Harbor Avenue. Finally safe from demolition, it awaits a forever home, a place where it can tell its stories for generations to come.
If you'd like to support the efforts to preserve the stone cottage, visit SaveTheStoneCottage.org.