The H.M. Gilbert family traveled to Yakima in 1897 on the Northern Pacific railroad and settled on twenty acres between 20th and 22nd Avenues. While living in the barn the family planted crops of grapes, apples and started construction of their modest Victorian home.
The home was constructed by local craftsmen and overseen by architect William DeVeaux. Three bedrooms, a living room, dining area, and a kitchen with pantry made up the newly completed homestead.
Outside the family added elm trees grown from slips brought on their trip from Illinois, lovely rose gardens, and a lawn tennis court. A vine covered gazebo provided space for outdoor events.
Mr. Gilbert over the years continued to grow the family fruit business. Farming approximately 7,000 acres in the Lower Valley and large parcels in what is now the Westside of Yakima the family also constructed numerous warehouses and fruitpacking facilities.
The home was expanded over the years to accommodate the growing family of Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert and their seven children.
Mr. Gilbert passed away in 1934 and Mrs. Gilbert lived in the property until her death in 1951.
The home suffered extensive damage after Mrs.Gilbert's death due to water damage caused by frozen water lines. The damage along with restoration of the home and grounds was completed by Mr. and Mrs. L.M. Donelson over the following thirty years. This included furnishing the property with antique furniture.
After Mr. Donelson's passing the property was transferred to the Yakima Valley Museum. Tours of the home are offered by the Friends of Gilbert Homeplace.
More information about the historic home can be found at www.yakimavalleymuseum.org