The Engstrom/Quarles property on the Mercer Island waterfront is for sale for $5.9 million. Photo courtesy of Matthew Gallant, Clarity NW

Historic homes hit the Mercer Island market

A large waterfront property in Mercer Island formerly owned by Margaret Engstrom Quarles, who lived on the Island for more than 90 years before passing away in 2016, just went on the market.

The expansive lakefront parcel, purchased in 1925 as the Engstrom’s summer country home, is one of the few remaining original properties of its size on Mercer Island.

In 2006, Margaret and her husband, Kenneth Quarles, were honored as Citizens of the Year when they donated seven acres of their pristine land adjacent to Pioneer Park to the city, preserving it for parks and recreation.

The Quarles had also previously transferred 1.57 acres in the 6500 block of E. Mercer Way to the city in 2002. The combined 8.57 acres is now officially named the “Engstrom Open Space,” honoring Margaret’s father.

Margaret Quarles turned 100 in 2015, but could still recall summers horseback-riding over an “old rickety wood bridge” to get the horse shoed in Bellevue, and walking six miles to Roanoke Dock to meet her ferry-commuting father.

A few acres of the family’s original parcel remain. The property has been divided into two listings — one waterfront lot for approximately $5.9 million and the adjacent parcel, a larger lot, for $1.3 million.

At 6610 E. Mercer Way sits a four-bedroom, mid-century modern rambler on more than an acre of flat land with 173 feet of low-bank waterfront. The family built the rambler in 1955 as their year-round residence.

The adjoining parcel behind, 6614 E. Mercer Way, is a largely untouched nearly three acres of land with natural woodlands rising behind a storybook cottage (the family’s original summer home) and level clearing. The 1,200-square-foot cottage has since been updated.

In the listing information, realtor Kelly Weisfeld noted that the property is “the perfect canvas for creating a dream estate or potentially developing into multiple parcels” and that the new owner can “love or level” the existing structure.

See www.MILegacyWaterfront.com (MLS 1076200) and www.6614EastMercer.com (MLS 1076098) for more photos and listing details.

A historic photo of the original Engstrom home. Courtesy photo

Margaret and Ken Quarles. File photo

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