Sally Jacky, chairman of the Harlock Place Park Stewardship Committee
The Steilacoom town council, on May 3, 2011, voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to accept the donation of ½ acre or more of land to become an open space pocket park, “Harlock Place Park.” 179 Steilacoom residents signed the petition that was given to the town council. Knowing that the surrounding forest is scheduled to become up to 30 houses, citizens wish to purchase the land to save in perpetuity a small portion of the last remaining forest, habitat corridor, and open space in Bill’s Addition neighborhood, located on Galloway Street near Lexington Street.
The favorable council result was a culmination of effort initially introduced at the January 4, 2011 Steilacoom town council meeting. Citizen support has been outstanding. Volunteers will maintain the park on the third Saturday of each month. 112 Steilacoom citizens have volunteered thus far.
Creation and dedication of “The Harlock Place Park” is an opportunity to add to the history of our town of Steilacoom. The site of the proposed park is currently owned by the Harlock daughter, Sylvia Harlock Kauffman, and her husband, Kris Kauffman. Sylvia’s parents, Ray and Izzy Harlock, purchased the original 2.2 acres of land in the late 1930’s and raised their three children, Sylvia and her two brothers, on their small farm. The Steilacoom Historical Museum Society has expressed interest in sharing information about the Harlock family.
Before Lakewood became a city, Sylvia and her husband, Kris, volunteered as board members of the Lakewood Community Council. Between the voters’ decision and incorporation, Sylvia chaired the social and health services and parks transitional teams and Kris chaired the public works transition team.
In 2005, Sylvia was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia (PPA). She lives with her husband, Kris, In Lakewood, Washington. She has seven-days-a-week caregivers. Kris is very interested in honoring Sylvia and her family.
The park’s purchase price is being funded through tax deductible charitable contributions to The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, FBO Harlock Place Park Fund. The seller is discounting the appraised price for lot 4 of 0.5 acre by 40% at $98,000. The seller also is discounting lot 3 of 0.33 acre by 20% at $131,200. Contributions by August 30 are encouraged to help with matching funds. Persons who contribute $100 or more may receive a limited edition Harlock Place Park baseball cap. Donors of large sums may place a name on the park stone monument.
The Harlock family lived on the corner of Galloway and Lexington in the original house that has since been remodeled. Ray managed the McNeil Island Penitentiary water system. On the property at the time of purchase was a 50-year-old Douglas fir forest. Sylvia’s parents lived in a tarpaper shack as they built their house. They also built a garage, a goat barn, and a gazebo. They planted more than thirty species of trees and bushes including two redwoods, a Norway maple, pine, English walnut, and tamarack. They planted a small orchard of apple, pear, and cherry trees. They raised chickens, five to twelve goats, geese, and ducks.
Izzy Harlock was the first college graduate in the extended Harlock family. She was graduated in nutrition from the University of Washington in 1926. Sylvia, born in 1939, was graduated in 1963 in the first class of occupational therapy at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Her professional endeavors included employment as an occupational therapist at The Karl Menninger Institute in Topeka, Kansas; rehabilitation administrator at Tacoma St. Joseph’s Hospital; Group Health supervisor for occupational therapy and physical therapy clinics from Federal Way to Pt. Orchard; and volunteer board member for the North American CARF Board which certifies health facilities in North America and sets standards for insurance company payments. Sylvia retired ten years ago at age 62.
Persons are encouraged to make a tax-deductible charitable contribution to purchase ½ acre or more of land to be given to the town of Steilacoom as a passive open space pocket park that will be maintained by citizen volunteers. Make checks payable to The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. On the lower left corner, write “FBO Harlock Place Park Fund”. Mail to: The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation 950 Pacific Avenue, Suite 1100 Tacoma WA 98402 or online: www.gtcf.org
Because there is a time limit to collect contributions, if funds are insufficient, they will be used for conservation issues in Steilacoom as determined by the Harlock Place Park Stewardship Committee.