Thursday, November 7, 2013

William S Peacock

Some of us may remember all the speculation going on around the purchase of the Peacock property back in 2008; and especially once construction started. Well,'Ohana Harbor Coffee purchased the property and developed it into their corporate offices.

But what do we know about the Civil War veteran that arrived in Gig Harbor in 1888?  Not as much as we should though we might be familiar with Peacock Real Estate founded by one of his grandsons, Frank “Proctor” Peacock in 1946 until 1976 when the firm merged with Coldwell Banker..

Before we start going over the family history lets start our conversation with William.  He was born in Gardiner, Maine on March 17, 1844.  At age 19 William enlisted in Company C, 2nd Maine Cavalry as a private on November 26, 1863 and was mustered out at end of Civil War in Barrances, Florida when entire regiment was mustered out on December 6, 1865 by Lt E. M. Schryver, Assistant Commissary of Musters as Corporal. 

After the Civil War William made his way back north and was married on October 6, 1874.  I can't tell you how long William and his wife lived in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.  But we do find them when they moved to Washington Territory in 1888.  In 1890 he purchased five acres of land overlooking Gig Harbor from Henry Woodworth's plat located at the top of the hill on what was the the Purdy Gig Harbor Co. Road.  It wasn't until 1898 when William started construction of their three story family home on his property known as Peacock Hill.  In fact Peacock Hill Avenue was named after him.

William S. Peacock Home 1898

William found many other veterans of the Civil War living in Gig Harbor and he joined them as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.  In the GAR rooster of Washington and Alaska for 1909 the local Gig Harbor chapter,  H. R. Loomis Post 80, the membership was listed as 15 members.  Those members were Anse Brown, M. B. Hunt, J. F. Allen, Wm. Kimball, Jno. Atkinson, T. L. Waters, Jno. S. Boyd, C. R. Lawrence, j. H. Dallstrum, Henry Woodworth, Geo. McGoon, G. Dunbar and William.

By August, 1912, four months following William's wife's death, William sought admission to the Port Orchard Veteran's Home.  He was just 68 years old.  William died of intestinal influenza on January 2, 1929 at age 85.  He was survived by his three children:  Maude Beadlestone, born 1876; Eva Rowley, born 1879; Ernest Peacock born 1880

The beautiful home that William had built for his family, and the property, was sold in 1920.  His son Ernest had married and had his own home as did both Ernest's sisters-Eva also in Gig Harbor and Maude in Bremerton.

I found a short chronological listing of William's property from 1890 to 1994.  I thought it might be interesting to read because it also helps us to understand why 'Ohana Harbor Coffee fits so well on the property as it takes it's place as caretaker of this beautiful scenic property.

  • 1890 Purchased property from Henry Woodworth
  • 1898 Construction begins on family home
  • 1929 William dies
  • 1929 Ed and May Fay purchase property and raise asparagus - Property now known as The Meadow
  • Mid to late 1940 Fays die and property is inherited by a niece living in Kansas City.  The house sits vacant and property becomes a favorite playground of children including William’s grandchildren.
  • 1955 Wilbur Johnson & Olaf “Roy” Thorstensen purchase house and Meadow.  They open a restaurant named Scandia Gaard.  Later they add a museum and gift shop.
Scandia Gaard

  • 1957 or early 1958 Johnson and Thorstensen acquire Roosterville, the miniature town made famous by Clarence Shaw.
Roosterville at Scandia Gaard

Pheasant run at Scandia Gaard

  • 1955-1967 Johnson and Thorstensen develop Scandia Gaard into a well known landmark and use property to help preserve the culture of their native land.  Midsommarfest is started.
  • 1967 Harold and Marje Anderson purchase the restaurant and The Meadow
  • 1972 The Andersons sell the property to Frank Pupo and Gay Buck who continue to operate the facility
  • 1976 Peninsula Playhouse and Performance Circle (Theatre West) combine forces to use The Meadow for outdoor theatre, and leads to a 20-year string of outdoor performances
  • Early 1980s Restaurant changes owners and name “Le Domaine for about 3 years
  • Mid 1980s Le Domaine closes and building sits vacant although the outdoor theatre continues
  • 1987 approximately Luciann and Larry Nadeau purchase the property
  • 1991 Property goes up for sale.  A group of 33 investors purchase the property with the intent of preserving the site for the community.
  • 1993 restaurant sold separately from The Meadow and reopens as North by Northwest
  • June 1994 Performance Circle exercises option to buy The Meadow
  • July 1994 Performance Circle starts fund-raising for the purchase
  • September 30, 1994 Performance Circle becomes official owner
  • 2008 purchased by ‘Ohana Harbor Coffee
  • 2011 ‘Ohana Harbor Coffee starts construction on their corporate headquarters now housed on the property

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