William T. Branch commissioned the architect George W. Bullard to design
a house for him at the corner of North 21st Street and Prospect in 1904.
The 14-room residence, measuring 50-by-58 feet, cost $15,000 to complete.
It contained “every convenience modern ideas can supply,” including 14
closets some as large as ordinary rooms. Branch also sought to protect his view of Commencement Bay by purchasing the surrounding lots.
No expense was spared in the construction of this house. It had a modern laundry, hot-air furnace, bathrooms on every floor, a solid stone foundation and
retaining wall, and sidewalks. William moved into the house later in 1904 and lived there for four years before selling it to John Bagley. Tacoma city
directories also listed Bertha Branch, an evangelist, as living at
the house at the same time as William.
John Bagley purchased the house in 1908 at the cost of $18,000.
Ten years later he obtained a building permit to convert the
building into apartments. Bagley came to Tacoma in 1896 after
years of working in the forests of Maine, Wisconsin and Michigan.
He established lumber mills throughout the Puget
Sound region. In 1900 he was instrumental in the construction of the Tacoma Eastern Railroad which extended from Tacoma to Ashford, thus opening the region to logging, lumber mills, and tourist excursions to Mount Tacoma.
We purchase the house in 1998 as a 5-plex and started construction.
Branch Colonial House opened in December of 1999 with all new electrical, copper plumbing, new heating boiler, 9 bathrooms (3 with jetted tubs)
6 waterheaters,and 56 new windows.
Robin, Brianna & Tristen