107 and 109 First Street
Sprinklz, Foamy Wader, Art Studio (Residence / Doctors office / Retail)
Circa 1910: Residence
1910. Looking west on First Street with residence (arrow) (Courtesy Island County Historical Society).
A residence with a pyramid hipped roof was constructed on the south side of First Street sometime between 1907 and 1910. This may have been home of Jessie Burch who was living in the house in the 1920's, and who died in 1944. A small addition was added to the West side prior to 1930.
Circa 1930. Addition on the West side (arrow) (Courtesy Island County Historical Society).
1944: Doctor Brewer buys the house
Doctor Alonzo Orlando Brewer, his then wife Elinor and stepson Don McKay, came to Langley in 1944. According to Don MacKay, we "lived for a time at the top of First Street then bought a house downtown, across the street from the Langley Drugstore that we remodeled and turned into a combination home and medical office."
"We added a store front office at one end of the house and that became my step-father's medical office. In addition, we put on an entire new exterior wall to the house with smooth finish cedar siding and also added a second story. It worked great for Mom, she could act as the nurse/receptionist and still have a cake in the oven. She wasn't happy about being across from the drugstore because that building had formerly belonged to Dr. Brewer and was presently occupied by his former wife Fern."
Elinor and Dr. Brewer separated in 1949. Dr. Brewer died in 1952 and is buried in Bayview Cemetery. Elinor remained in the house in Langley. She remodeled the office into an apartment and rented rooms upstairs; calling it the "Edgewater Inn." She also formed a "Chapeau Club" with a group of friends. According to Don McKay, "They assembled at our house once a week and built these hats and gabbed all afternoon. These 'hats. as they called them would fit in just fine at the mental hospital at Sedro Wooley, and they sold these things."
1971: John Braun
1970. House (arrow)(Courtesy Neil Colburn).
John Currey Braun moved to Langley with his mother Mary Braun McNeal in 1971. Born in Wenatchee, John was an artist who taught art and art history at universities in California, Oregon and Seattle before coming to Langley, and continued to teach through Skagit Valley College after moving here.
He purchased the former Brewer home and enlarged the second floor. He added an addition in front that became 107 First Street and served as his studio, and also built a small gallery he called "Sipa'pu" on the South side facing the alley that he ran with his mother. He lived in the back part of the building and his mother lived on the second floor.
Circa 1975. House with addition on the front (arrow) (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).
He had a whimsical sense of humor. He made masks and other things of found objects. Time spent observing the Hopi culture "changed his life" and he a love of "magical art." Emily Day recalls "He developed a very distinctive style as his work incorporated first Hopi then later Northwest Coastal Indian styles."
John was instrumental in creation of the annual art show in 1975 and named it Choochokam. He wanted it to consist of "real art" and be a juried event. He also served on Langley's Design Review Board in the 1980's. John's mother died in 1991, and John died in 2002.
The former doctor's office on the west side (109 First Street) became home to the "Patchwork Peasant" clothing store.
Circa 1988. Patchwork Peasant and Hallmark Store (Courtesy Langley City Hall).
Denise Piper took over Patchwork Peasant in 1976 and had her "Body Cover" clothing store there until 2004.
2004. Body Cover clothing (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
In 1988, pharmacist Ron Lind rented the front of the building from Leo Lee for his Hallmark cards while his drug store next door was being remodeled. Once the remodel was completed, the Hallmark cards were moved to the second story of the drug store in 1989.
Circa 1988. Hallmark Store (Courtesy Langley City Hall).
John Ball moved his Mad Hatter Bookstore into the front of the building (107 First Street) after the Hallmark cards were removed. He closed the business in 1996. According to John, a woman bought his business and ran it for a while before she closed it and left. Rae Claybourne's "Violet Fields" then occupied the space.
2004. Violet Fields (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
2008: Whidbey Island Soap Company and Violet Fields
2008: Violet Fields (107 First Street) and Whidbey Island Soap Company (109 First Street) (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
In 2008, Kim Tiller and her son David moved their Whidbey Island Soap Company from the Langley Village into the west end of the building (109 Second Street).
2009: building remodeled
April 2009. 107 Second Street being remodeled (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
The front of the building (107 First Street) was remodeled into two spaces in 2009 and Emily Day's "Creative Moves" and Sandrajean Wainwright's "Wayward Son" jewelry moved in.
2010. Creative Moves, Wayward Son, and Whidbey Island Soap Company (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
When Creative Waves left, the Whidbey Island Soap Company moved into the space.
2011. Whidbey Island Soap Company sign (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
John Braun's former gallery was also remodeled into Studio 106 (106 McLeod Alley) in 2009.
2007. John Braun's former gallery on the S.E. corner of the building (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
2018. Studio 106 (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
Artist Phyllis Ray rented the space and created a studio for a group of local artists, beginning with fellow painters Faye Castle and Barbara Barry. "When I met Studio 106 it was covered with weeds and you couldn't even see the building."
2011: Sassy Siren
2014. Sassy Siren at 109 First Street (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
Tracy Fletcher opened Sassy Siren in 109 Second Street in 2011. Jennifer Krouse purchased Sassy Siren in 2014, and replaced it with the Sprinklz Ice Cream Parlor in 2016. One of the most popular items was an ice cream cone for dogs with a small dog biscuit on top.
2018. Sprinklz (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
The Whidbey Soap Company moved to a smaller location on First street in 2015. A Naturopathic Dermatology business briefly occupied the space vacated by the Whidbey Island Soap Company before being replaced by Alexa Allamano's "Foamy Wader," featuring handmade jewelry and home décor items in 2017.
The Wayward Son closed in 2013, and Sprinklz expanded into that space in 2017.
2018. Foamy Wader and Sprinklz (Courtesy Robert Waterman).