Edith Macefield is what you might call a firecracker or a tough cookie. The woman led a courageous life, she learned French and English then joined military. After serving in England, officials discovered she was under 18 and sent her back home. When Macefield came back to the United States, she would eventually find her home.
She would spend the next 60 years living in the same house, and no one was going to take it from her. And boy, would they try.
Developers began to buy up what seemed like every inch of her neighborhood, determined to turn her street in Seattle into a profitable mall.
However, 86-year-old Macefield was not going anywhere. Developers offered her money: first hundreds of thousands of dollars, then a whopping $1 million.
Macefield turned down every offer. The developers were as stubborn as she was, so instead of buying her house, they built the mall around it. However, what no one expected was that in the process, Macefield would make a friend.
The building project manager, Barry Martin, was in charge of constructing the mall around her home. He began checking in on her and soon they became friends. When she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he became her caregiver.
“She didn’t want to be put into a nursing home,” Martin said. “She wanted to stay there and die in the house where her mother died. And I kind of realized that if I didn’t do it, she wasn’t going to be able to do that.”
When Macefield died in 2008, she left her home in Martin’s hands. The developer knew he had to do right by her. The house remained in the same spot, as inconvenient as it was to those rich developers, for seven years. Then finally in 2015, it was donated to charity to provide affordable housing to those who needed it.
In the end, Macefield got what she wanted. She fought the good fight against corporate greed, stopped her home from becoming a mall, and helped others in the process.
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