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The Life of Jacob Ambaum
Self-Sufficiency in the Valley

Jacob Ambaum was also “public spirited,” serving on the Mt. View School Board for many years. Fiscally conservative, he believed in “Basic Education” and the one-room school. Ambaum had close ties to the neighboring O’Day family. “Mike O’Day prevented my father from losing his property during one very hard period. He was a friend in need,”  recalled Ambaum’s daughter, Mary Ambaum de Leuw.

"When my father retired from road building he went into the poultry business," recalled de Leuw. "The streetcar would stop at our gate and pick up eggs. Various little grocery stores were our customers. Good German sauerkraut delivered in large crocks was one of our specialties."

"We were always self-sufficient in those days. We raised our own meat, made good German sausage, and grew our own vegetables and fruit. When there was illness there was just the right herb cure in the garden. During the Depression years, we had dinner almost every Sunday for various friends from town, and they were afterwards loaded up with food for the coming week before they left."

"Walking was one of our favorite forms of recreation. We would walk everywhere . . . through the woods which is now Shorewood to the beach and then south to Three Tree Point. Someone would always give us a glass of lemonade and friendly conversation. Many times we would also drink from the clear cold streams along the way.”

Jacob Ambaum and his family lived on his homestead in Hazel Valley until his death in 1935. After Jacob died in 1935, his wife Mary and daughter, Marian continued living there. After Jacob’s wife, Mary died in December 1945, their daughter Marian/Mary continued living there with her husband, Adrian de Leuw and their daughter, JoAnn. Marian Ambaum deLeuw and her family lived there until 1959 when they moved into Burien after they had sold the property for the future St. Bernadette’s Church.

Continue on to learn about the more recent history of the area.

14700 6th Avenue SW   /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 988-3700  /  Fax: (206) 243-2784
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