Wholesome Haven for Sailors
This house was built as a private residence in 1883. Old Tacoma was a rowdy seaport – it ranked with San Francisco's "Barbary Coast" as one of the most dangerous port cities on the West Coast.
From 1897 to 1903, a Swedish widow and her daughter (Birgitte and Christine Funnemark) operated this home as "Seaman's Rest," a place for sailors to find safety, hoping to keep them away from trouble. Here, sailors could enjoy wholesome entertainment during their stay in Tacoma.
During those years, hundreds of sailors visited Seaman's Rest to read books and newspapers in the library, write letters to their families, play dominoes or checkers, join in religious services, sing hymns, and enjoy delicious Swedish coffee and cake.
Honoring Captain Funnemark
Mother Funnemark, as she was known, wanted to honor her husband (a ship's captain who died at sea) by creating a haven for lonely sailors.
Daughter Christine helped her mother extend hospitality through Seaman's Rest. In later years, Christine helped found the Tacoma Rescue Mission.