October 25, 2013

Did Frank Reid (shot Soapy Smith) build this house?

Frank Reid house?
(Click image to enlarge)

id Frank Reid, one of the men who shot and mortally wounded Soapy Smith, build the home pictured above? Robby Albrecht is hoping we can help him answer that question.

Hi Jeff,

The house is located at 1576 Lake Whatcom Blvd. in Bellingham, WA. It's on Lake Whatcom. The driveway was originally named Clara Place if that helps anyone. I don't know why it was named that.

Apparently the house was built on Reed Lake (near Cain Lake) and moved here in pieces after a few years. The original editor of the Bellingham Herald owned it (I don't know if this was Frank) and used it as a gentleman's club. He had friends bring him rocks from all over the world and those were used to finish the fireplace.

In the 1970s a friend of mine says his brother came here and found an envelope in the dilapidated house with a man from Seattle's address on it. They wrote him and asked if they could camp on the property. It then became a big hippy party spot through the '70s named Rock Meadow.

Original interior walls exposed
 (Click image to enlarge)

My sister bought the property in 1985. I bought it from her in 2003. My sister bought it from a group of Canadians who had camper trailers on the property. She fixed up the house, moved her family in, and built another large log home on the property. That place is for sale now ( http://www.windermere.com/listing/WA/Bellingham/1578-Lake-Whatcom-Blvd-98229/14947240). I raised my family there and am downsizing and have moved into the original house. Before I moved in here, I brought all the interior walls back to their original state, refinished the fireplace and the wood floors upstairs. It was all covered up. You can see the axe marks. It is beautiful. As I said, I am trying to put together a history on the house and property. Any information your blog might drum up would be very helpful.

Robby Albrecht

I know that Frank Reid lived in Oregon, but I have nothing on him living in Washington. If anyone can assist in adding information about this story, please contact Jeff Smith here on this blog.

Frank Reid

Frank Reid: pages 10, 439-41, 447, 477, 529-42, 544, 547-53, 555, 574, 576-77, 579, 585.

"Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time,
But tardy justice will o'ertake the crime."
—John Dryden


1812: The U.S. frigate United States captures the British vessel Macedonian during the War of 1812.

1853: Paiute Indians attack and kill U.S. Army Captain John W. Gunnison and 7 other men in Utah, Territory. The men and 37 soldiers were a part of a transcontinental railroad survey near Sevier Lake, Utah.

1860: Adventurer Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton is born in Hartford, Connecticut.

1864: The Battle at Mine Creek takes place. The only major battle fought in Kansas occurs at Mine Creek in Linn County, Kansas. The Union Army defeats the Confederate Army, ending the threat of a Confederate takeover in Kansas.

1870: The first U.S. trademark is given. The recipient is the Averill Chemical Paint Company of New York City.

1873: A detachment of Sixth Cavalry from the Indian Territory attack a party of Indian raiders near Little Cabin Creek, Texas, recovering 70 stolen horses and 200 heads of cattle.

1877: Famed Lincoln County War combatant, Dick Brewer, and posse, catch up with Tunstall's stolen cattle in New Mexico Territory, 10 miles from the Texas border.

1878: Cheyenne Indian Chief Dull Knife and 150 of his tribe reach Fort Robinson accompanied by 75 soldiers. The soldiers provide the Indians food, medicine, and blankets.

1881: In the early morning hours, Tombstone, Arizona Territory residents John “Doc” Holliday and Ike Clanton spew threats at one another while in the Alhambra saloon. The following day both face one another in the famed gunfight behind the OK Corral.

1886: the Texas State Fair opens on a section of John Cole's farm in north Dallas. A rival organization, the Dallas Exposition, opens its first fair the following day. Both fairs are successful and eventually merge to form the Texas State Fair and Dallas Exposition, which eventually becomes the State Fair of Texas.

1891: Jacob Walzer, of the "Lost Dutchman Mine" dies without revealing the secret location. People have been hunting for the mine ever since.

1921: Bat Masterson, famed lawman and gambling figure, dies at his desk while writing a column for the Morning Telegraph where he was sports editor in New York City, New York. Masterson was a good friend of Soapy Smith.


  1. I found a paper that mentions Frank's time in Bellingham:


    1. Thank you for the reply Robby.
      I have seen this presentation online as well. The author is Donald L. Singer Ph.D. I contacted the group Red Land's Fort Nightly, and the library, none having any contact information for Dr. Singer. I noted that he made the common historical mistakes published in most of the biographies, so I can't help wonder where he obtained his information.

  2. A few more:



    1. Good information Robby!

      From the Bellingham Bay Express.
      Fri. April 14, 1893: "F. H. REID came in from RAE's logging camp on Lake Whatcom, this morning. He says the camps on the lake are very busy."
      Wed. April 19, 1893: "F. H. REID has returned from his Lake Whatcom ranch."

      The second link is for the Guide to the Galen Biery Papers and Photographs. There is a collection of materials on "Frank H. Reid" in Series II: Lake Whatcom Research, undated: (Box 10 - Folder 98)


Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith