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The Stimson Story - May 19

  • Written by Woodinville Heritage Society

The Stimson family is one of the more famous names in Northwest history, dating from the early 20th century. Brothers Charles Douglas (C.D. Stimson) and Frederick Spencer (F.S. Stimson) gained great wealth in the Northwest timber industry as part of the Stimson Lumber Co.

The story of one family member will be recounted Saturday, May 19, when Kevin Stadler, vice president of the Woodinville Heritage Society, shares the back story of Frederick and Nellie Stimson. Fred established the famous Hollywood Farm in the Sammamish Valley at Woodinville, now the site of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.

Stadler's extensive archival research into the Stimson family has produced an array of early photos as well as colorful information. These have been combined into his presentation, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brightwater Education Center, 22505 Highway 9, Woodinville, just north of Costco.

Fred and Nellie Stimson, Michiganites who had become prominent Seattle residents, purchased acreage in the Sammamish Valley in 1910 to built a weekend retreat for their family. In this expansive manor house, they entertained many Seattle friends as well as their own family.
During the decade of 1910-21, Fred Stimson became famous for raising purebred Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle at his Hollywood Farm, and Nellie for raising several varieties of carnations, roses and other flowers in their nine greenhouses there. In partnership with poultryman Mort Atkinson, Stimson also owned Hollywood Poultry Farm on a nearby hillside, plus swine pens in the valley.

Advertising their own products, the Stimsons operated a Seattle floral shop, farm products store and restaurant. At the Woodinville farm, they offered a roadside store, steam laundry and home delivery of milk products. Besides the manor house, Fred Stimson built the 1912 Hollywood Schoolhouse while Nellie saw to extensive landscaping of the manor grounds.

Today, their legacy is still visible in such National Historic Register sites as the Stimson manor house on the winery grounds and the Hollywood Schoolhouse.

Stadler has been fascinated by Woodinville-area history since he moved to Woodinville 10 years ago. His presentation concludes the 2017-18 series of free historical programs offered regularly by the Woodinville Heritage Society. The 2018-19 series will begin in September, according to program chair Deanna Arnold-Frady.

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