E24 Olmstead Place State Park

Owners: Washington State Parks and Recreation (Discover Pass required)

Address: 921 N. Ferguson Road, Ellensburg, Wa.

Quilt Blocks: East end- ‘Star and Windmill’                                                               West end- ‘Basket’ (to reference the Kittitas tribe basket weavers) (Both quilt blocks were taken from the original quilts made by the Olmstead women.)

Farm History: Samuel Olmstead married Sarah Yale in 1861 and farmed the Minnesota frontier. Urged by Samuel’s half brother, J.D. Olmstead, they came to Kittitas Valley in 1875. They built the original cabin on this property in 1876 out of cottonwood trees from near the Yakima River.

The orchards and fruiting shrubs were planted in 1877. (Many of the old trees stand today) In 1881, Samuel died suddenly and left the burden of the farm to Sarah and her two sons, Phil and Jack. Their daughter, Clara married George Smith and they had two little girls. Unfortunately, Clara also died young and Sarah took in and raised the two little grandaughters.

In 1892 the young Olmstead men built the the dairy barn on the west end of the meadow. In 1908, the Olmsteads built the farmhouse and big red barn to store grain and hay.

In 1968, Leta May Smith and Clareta Olmstead Smith, the little girls raised by Sarah Olmstead years before, deeded Olmstead Place to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission for use as a historical park.   Local volunteers donate hundreds of hours to the maintenance of the gardens and buildings each year.   The farm is the location of the annual Threshing Bee put on by the Kittitas Early Iron Club each fall.