Edith Macefield lived in her home for 50 years. She refused to give up the residence her mother died in, even after developers in the area snapped up her neighbors’ property in Seattle, Washington.
Macefield’s house was the lone survivor in the increasingly gentrified Ballard neighborhood. After the homes that surrounded her cottage were leveled, they were replaced by a giant complex that includes an LA Fitness and a Trader Joe’s. Developers offered Macefield a million dollars for her home, but she refused to budge - not unlike the character Carl Fredricksen from Pixar’s “Up.”
In 2008, Macefield died at her home, at the age of 86.
The house is still standing to this day, but perhaps not for long.
On Friday, March 13, the house will be put up for auction. Developers have said they will bid for the home, which is effectively worthless and carries legal problems from its last owner, who bought the property to save it.
Eat Ballard, a local group, has created a fundraiser to save the home.
Macefield was a remarkable woman in her own right. She claimed she worked as a spy for England during WWII and she was caught and sent to Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp. She said she escaped and ran an orphanage for refugees and, in later years, her friend and caretaker Barry Martin found proof to support her claims.
In a strange twist, Martin was the supervisor of the project that sought to displace Macefield. He remembered her as a private and stubborn woman.
"She didn't understand all the attention," Martin told Yahoo. "She was just living in her house, like she always had.”