The Gilbert House was built in 1898 on a 20 acre plot just west of Yakimaís city limits. The plans for the house were an adaptation by William Deveaux, a local architect, of the original plans purchased from D.S. Hopkins in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The house as it sits today is the result of several additions and renovations made by the Gilberts to accommodate their growing family.
Mr. Gilbert spent much of his time as a land developer in the lower Yakima valley. His efforts were instrumental in bringing irrigation water into the valley.
Mrs. Gilbert was left in charge of raising their seven children and managing the 20 acre plot of land which was divided between orchard and pasture for their farm animals.
The house was owned by the Gilberts until 1951 when Mrs. Gilbert passed away at the age of 89. The L.M. Donnelson family then resided in the home until 1981. The Donnelsons began the restoration of the home and gardens to itís original beauty. The home was purchased again by the Gilbert family in 1982 and donated to the Yakima Valley Museum. The home has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Currently, the house is maintained by an organization called The Friends of Gilbert Homeplace.
The Strawberry Festival is one of the events that The Friends of Gilbert Homeplace uses to help fund the restoration of the house. During this event, visitors are encouraged to take a tour of the house and learn about itís history. Money is raised through the sale of food on the lawn. This year, it was a very delicious strawberry shortcake.
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