For the Reporter
Historic Mary Olson Farm opens to the public on Saturday.
The farm, at 28728 Green River Road SE, Kent, is open every Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., June 23 to Aug. 26.
The 67-acre City of Auburn park is off the beaten road, but well worth discovering. The City purchased the farm in 1994 from decedents of Mary Olson and set off to restore and prepare it for public use. With seven wooden farm buildings, a salmon bearing stream, 50 acres of forest not logged since the 1880s and hay producing meadows, there was a lot to work on. But by 2011 the farm was opened to the public, after winning the prestigious Historic Seattle’s Best Restoration Award.
What to expect when you arrive? A forest walk from the parking to the farmstead, which is situated in its own canyon. Bring a picnic and consider lunching alfresco under a 130-year-old King apple tree. There are beautiful interpretive signs scattered about, which lead one on a nice loop walk through the farm.
If you are an animal lover, Caretaker Sean will introduce you to Pip and Stinger, the mini donkey’s and Libby the cow. They work during the school year as “livestock ambassadors.” Tour Mary’s weaving house (circa 1920) and her two story farmhouse (1902). Both are fully furnished and restored.
This summer the farm plays host to artist Michelle Lassaline, water color artist and mask maker. The artist in residency provides Lassaline with a portion of the barn to use as her studio, a stipend, and all of the inspiration that the farm can provide. You can meet her and see her work during two open studio days.
Open days are sponsored by the Wyman Youth Trust.
Mary Olson Farm calendar of free events:
• June 23, Open studio with artist in residence Michelle Lassaline
• July 15, Stitchin’ at the Farm, 2-4 p.m.
• July 29, Open studio with artist in residence Michelle Lassaline
• Aug. 12, Gary Stroutsos Native Flute, 2 p.m.
• Aug. 18, Hops in the Valley Lecture, 1 p.m.
• Aug. 25, Poets on the Farm, 1-4 p.m.
For more information, visit wrvmuseum.org.