This building housed the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey staff, who monitored a magnetic observatory located on Observatory Street; when that observatory was linked to the house by a remote hookup, readings could be taken within the house. After a seismometer was installed in the basement in 1929, seismic readings were taken here as well. In 1940, this operation moved to new, larger quarters on Geodetic Way. The U.S. Forest Service has occupied the house since 1961.
This gambrel-roofed cottage measures 36 feet by 26 feet and is one and a half stories tall. A large, pedimented gable dormer centered in the front and a small shed-roofed vestibule below add to the size of this wood-framed, clapboarded dwelling.