Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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Ted and Bernadine Mathison
Preserving the Future
Phil Mathison said that his family “is thrilled at what is being done here. My parents loved the setting and trees and wanted to preserve it for the future. We moved to this property when I was six in 1944. We were moving way out to the country from West Seattle - and it was really in the country! There were only two other homes in the area that I remember . . .

“Dad built a temporary house which we lived in for six years while he built their dream home block by block. It is a great house - as good today as 55 years ago. . . . Dad and mom came to this property in the country because they love the setting and the trees. Mom could honestly be called a true tree-hugger. They had many visits through the years from people wanting to buy part of the land, some of them developers. Early on, their intention was to preserve the hill of trees for the future.

“Both of my parents came from situations where there wasn’t much money. Somehow, both were able to attend Washington State College in Pullman where they met. Dad eventually became a Boeing engineer and Mom a homemaker, and could probably be called an activist. Her passions were education (she was a PTA president) and mental health. She helped start the Highline-West Seattle Mental Health Clinic and the Crisis Clinic.

“Dad could do anything! Plumbing, electrical, building, repair. If he didn’t know how to do something he would study and figure it out. He loved working at Boeing making planes. He was a true engineer. A quiet Norwegian engineer. . . .

“We walked to Sunnydale School and Highline High through the back woods. Dad survived the Boeing downturn and stayed until he was 65. He tackled many huge projects there."

Continue on to learn about the beginnings of the Park.


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