Property & History
Originally named the Middleton House, this historic craftsman-style house, located on the corner of C Street and Harrison, was built in 1905. It was owned by the Spencer family prior to the Middleton’s. In 1992 the house was renamed the Harrison House Suites when it was converted to a Bed & Breakfast. The San Juan Suite, which encompasses the first floor of the historic house, showcases great architectural detail with its high ceilings, classic woodwork and leaded stained glass built-ins.
The Middletons are descendants of Peter Kirk, who journeyed to San Juan Island because of the Lime Kilns. Peter Kirk was a steel mill entrepreneur from England who founded Kirkland, Washington. Today, the Harrison House Suites consists of two buildings – the historic Middleton House and a second building which houses the 1930 Roche Harbor Cottage, which was moved from its name sake harbor to its present location in the early 1990′s.
What these buildings have in common is simplicity of design. They are attractive and functional, but without elaborate ornamentation or frills. Both these buildings were built with local timber using the natural bedrock as the foundation. The Harrison House Suites main door, accessible off Harrison Street, was built by the same carpenter who did the famous mansion in Victoria’s Butchart Gardens. Money was not so plentiful in those days and could not be used for the unnecessary. Buildings were generally painted white, more for functional protection against rot, than for decoration. In our renovations, we have chosen to adorn these buildings with a splash of color – keeping with a historical palate.