The Rothschild House, Port Townsend

#6 of 8 in Museums in Port Townsend
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Rothschild House is a house in Port Townsend, Washington. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. It is included in Port Townsend Historic District which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. It was built by D. C. H. Rothschild.
The house is managed by the Jefferson County Historical Society as a historic house museum.
Early business venturesDavid Charles Henry Rothschild was one of seven siblings from Sulzbach am Main, Bavaria. He came to the United States in the mid 1840s. His brother, William, nearly 15 years older, had preceded him to America and settled in Harrodsburg, Kentucky where he had an establishment called "The Kentucky Store". He joined his brother in this venture but, in 1848, he returned to Sulzbach for three months, then returned to America by way of Cape Horn, to San Francisco. There, he served as secretary of the Phoenix Quartz Mining Company and worked for both the Tehama Quartz Mining Company and the North California Mining Company. Later, he and a partner opened a store in Nevada City but sold out the following year, going first to New York and then back to Bavaria. A year later, he was back in Nevada City, and opened another store.
TravelsAfter operating his latest store for a year, he decided to travel to "exotic" places for the next three years, visiting China, the East Indies, Australia, Tahiti, and the Society Islands. He returned to San Francisco to be a miner for six months, then opened a tobacco and cigar store in Sacramento. It was there that he married. He chose to raise his family in Port Townsend, where he settled with his wife Dorette (also from Bavaria). Over time, he came to be known as "The Baron"; a reference to the famous Rothschild banking family.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
38 reviews
  • The Rothschild House is definitely worth a visit if you like looking at authentic Victorian era homes. This house was built in the 1800's and owned by the Rothschild family. This house - turned...  more »
  • One of the very early local merchants built this house in 1868 for his family in the "uphill" area, overlooking the water. He and Dorette filled the house with furnishings and typical household...  more »
  • We visited this house today quite by accident. We just happened upon it. The docent working today was very friendly, knowledgeable, and welcoming. He gets five stars just for himself! He knew so much and it was fun to learn about the Rothschild family, and also the history of Port Townsend. This house is definitely a place you should visit when you come to Port Townsend.
  • It is a neat piece of Port Townsend history. The volunteer attendant told us the history of the house and the families story, it was a very enjoyable experience. I am very happy we got to see it.

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