City will wait until next year to paint the Keller House

Thomas Costigan

The city of Colville has decided to wait until next year to give the Keller House a new look.
The city, which took possession of the historic landmark more than a half-century ago, was hoping to give the house a new coat of paint this summer. A contract was award to American Northwest Contracting Services on July 10. American Northwest Contracting, a new painting business in Stevens County, was the only company to bid on the project.
A short time after being awarded the bid, the contractor told city officials that he could not obtain the necessary training and certification for the lead-based paint needed for the job.
The city council, acting on the recommendation of Public Works Director Jeff Cochran, decided to rescind the current contract and rebid the project next year.
Cochran said waiting a year would allow the city more time to research certified contractors and increase competition for the job.
Cochran, who did not know when the Keller House was last painted, said the current paint job was starting to chip and bubble up.
The Keller House, designed by Loren L. Rand of Spokane in the English Craftsman movement, was built in 1910 for newlyweds Harry and Anna Young. Originally called the Lockwood House in honor of Mrs. Young’s mother, it was one of the first houses in Colville to have electricity.
Following the death of Harry Young in 1914, his widow married Louis Keller, a prominent Colville businessman. Louis Keller, who owned a hardware store, was instrumental in forming the Colville Chamber of Commerce.
Anna Keller passed away in 1963 and her husband died in 1966. He gave the home and grounds to the city to be used as a park.
The house and adjacent carriage house are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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