The French Family of Pleasant Bay
The French family is considered Kirkland’s First Family. They were the second family to settle in what is now Kirkland. But they were the first family to stay. Their home was built in 1872 and still stands on Lake Washington Blvd. The home was moved and has been changed but the original “bones” remain.
Samuel “Foster” French with his wife Caroline and adult son Harry D. French homesteaded in 1872. Mrs. French named the unnamed settlement Pleasant Bay. Harry married Rosa Jones in 1895. They had one daughter Olivia. Olivia and Cuba Davis married and had one son, David Davis. It is this grandson of Harry French that Kirkland owes gratitude. The journals are full of early day history of Kirkland as well as history of why a family would leave their home in Maine where generations of family remained. In spite of the miles, the family remained close. Dave has also donated family heirlooms and small pieces of furniture.
Harry French was part owner of Campbell Hall which is one of the three historic brick buildings on Market and 7th Avenue. Harry sold land to the Kirkland Land and Improvement Company and expected to participate in the growth of Kirkland as it became a steel mill town.
The Journals of both Harry and Samuel were loaned to the late Arline Stokes Ely when she was writing Our Foundering Fathers. David Davis has now donated the 14 journals to Kirkland Heritage Society.
The late Dale Hawkinson photographed the journals so that the originals could remain safely archived.