Cloverfields

Location: 1100 Carlyon Ave SE
National, State, and local registers; Wohleb

cloverfield detailCloverfields, ca. 1930s, Olympia School District No. 111 Records, Southwest Regional Archives (detail)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACloverfields today (2013), Photo by Deb Ross

Hazard Stevens, son of first territorial governor Isaac I. Stevens, is an important personage in Olympia’s history. Arriving here with his father at age 13, he was a witness to the Medicine Creek Treaty, and a lifelong staunch supporter of his father’s controversial service as governor. He accompanied his father back east to Civil War duty, and was wounded in the same battle that killed his father. After the war, Hazard, his mother, and his sisters returned to Olympia, where he began his involvement in the early industrial and transportation ventures that contributed to Olympia’s prominence in territorial and, later, state affairs. He also was in the party that made one of the first ascents of Mount Rainier. In 1875 he returned to Boston where he practiced law and was involved politically for many years. However, he remained interested in Olympia affairs, including the presidency of Olympia Light and Power, which brought electricity to Olympia by way of a power plant on the Deschutes River, as well as to the trolley system that was powered by and owned by the electric company. (Stevens also built a pen around Tumwater Falls and installed a herd of elk, which became a popular tourist attraction.)

In 1914, at age 70, Stevens returned to Olympia. Here he  developed his model dairy, Cloverfields Farm, on land that had been granted to his father in the 1850s. The farm extended over the area now occupied by Olympia High School, on the south side of Carlyon Avenue. Around that same year, Stevens gave architect Joseph Wohleb one of his first architectural commissions to design his home at the farm, now known as Cloverfields. Although Wohleb had already begun developing his signature Mission style with the design of the Jeffers Building, Cloverfields’s Dutch Colonial style was designed to be in harmony with the bucolic nature of the farm, as well as being reminiscent of the Stevens family’s New England roots. Stevens incorporated electricity in the dairy operations as well as throughout his home, providing a model for local citizens on the various possible uses of electricity. The home had a spacious back porch that overlooked Hazard Lake, which is still visible from Carlyon Street behind Cloverfields. Hazard died only 4 years later.

After Kate Stevens Bates inherited Cloverfields Farm from her brother, it was eventually broken into separate tracts. The Daughters of the Pioneers attempted to have the state purchase the historic farm for a park. Although they were unsuccessful in this attempt, Cloverfields’s historic importance is recognized by being on the National, State, and local registers. The overall estate has suffered from building garages on the south side of the house, and the cutting of Carlyon Avenue through the middle of the original farm, the house itself still looks very similar to its original appearance. The large bend in Carlyon Avenue at Cloverfields is a nod to the importance of this home.

Olympia Heritage inventory

Cloverfields Property Report DAHP

For more on the Stevens family, see the Residents section of this website.

 

 

 

 

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