This is a 17-room Italianate Victorian Mansion (American Bracketed Villa). Ezra was 56 years when the house was started. These were farm folk who made considerable money from growing and selling hops. It is clear that the idea for the house was hers, rather than his. This is the house that Eliza Jane Meeker built and retained title to. The house was designed by Ferrell and Darmer, Architects, of Tacoma. It took more than three years to build and was finished by 1890. Their youngest daughter was married in the house before it was finished. The Meekers lived here about 20 years, until Eliza Jane died in 1909. After her death Ezra left the house.
Ezra Meeker was a pioneer and leading citizen of Puyallup, first mayor, one-time Hop King, historian and author. Ezra Meeker became the self-appointed champion of the Oregon Trail in 1906, when, at the age of 75, accompanied by two oxen, a wagon, a driver and a dog, he made his way from his front yard to Washington D.C., by way of New York City. His purpose was to preserve and mark the Oregon Trail, which was being obliterated by civilization. He thought he might make his trip once before he died, but this remarkable man lived to the age of 98 and made this journey by ox team once more, then by automobile in 1916, and by airplane in 1924. The fact that you can see actual traces of the Oregon Trail is due almost entirely to Ezra Meeker’s efforts.
The Meeker Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The objective of The Puyallup Historical Society at Meeker Mansion is to return the home to the condition it was in 1891, the year after it was finished. This is complicated by the fact that there are no known records of the house aside from three letters Mr. Meeker wrote describing it, and no known interior photographs.