Property Watch: A Historic Maternity Ward Becomes a Cottage Once Again

A recent open house for this single-story craftsman drew at least 26 attendees who had been born inside, according to listing agents. Over the years, thousands of Whidbey Island locals were born in this home that’s just a 10-minute walk south from the Coupeville Wharf and historic waterfront.

Whidbey didn’t even have a hospital when Polly Harpole, the island’s first public health nurse and queen of the midwives, purchased this home in the 1930s. At the request of local doctors, she turned her residence into the Polly Harpole Maternity Home in 1936. Until her retirement in 1958, Harpole not only delivered most of the island’s babies, but

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