The Family Home
Over the years most of our guests have probably noticed the little yellow house halfway down the drive. This is the Gibson family home that our great uncle Jim purchased from the original homesteader, Al Hill, in 1911. Our understanding is that the house was built in about 1894. Also it was possibly moved to its current location from elsewhere on Orcas Island prior to 1911. While now private property and no longer owned by North Beach Inn, the Farmhouse remains in the Gibson family and is an important part of our family heritage.
Over the years, four generations of Gibsons have lived and died there. In addition there has even been one birth. That’s when my father, Gordon, was born in front of the living room fireplace in June of 1932.
Food and Lodging
In the 1910’s our great-grandmother Mary Telford cooked meals in the Farmhouse for guests. This was because in those days our guests stayed in tent cabins in the apple orchard. Later on, after
the North Beach Inn main lodge was built, the Farmhouse was rented out to summer guests along with the cottages down on the beach. In 1968 our grandmother Edna left the farmhouse and the surrounding property to my father. As a small boy in the early 1970’s I have fond memories of making mud pies in the front yard. Later when I helped with meals at the Lodge, I would dig up homegrown carrots and potatoes in the garden.
The Farmhouse Remodel
As you can see from the photo – work to remodel the Farmhouse has now begun. We are all very excited to see improvements being made to this historic family building.
For a glimpse of how things looked over 80 years ago, check out this link to the Orcas Island Heritage website: Historic Photo. It was taken in the mid 1930’s by Ray Kaltenbach. At that time Ray worked for my grandfather Ed Gibson at the Moran State Park Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. The photo shows Gordon as a small boy with his Uncle Will sitting on the front (side) porch.