Stop 10: Seaman's Rest

Stop 10: Seaman's Rest

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.

What do you think?

What would it be like to be a traveler in a strange city?

How would it feel to have to wait weeks or months to get a letter from your family? Do you write letters to people who are far away?


2802 N Carr St

WA 98403

Next Stop: Slavonian Hall

Let's return to near the beginning of the tour to see Slavonian Hall. Walk downhill on Carr Street to North 30th. Turn left, walk past the Mountaineers building to Slavonian Hall (look for the statue in front!).