History

A Central Piece of Bonney Lake History

The Kelley Farm house was a wedding gift in 1907. Today, it continues to be a romantic, intimate place for modern weddings. As a historical landmark, the Corliss family has taken a great deal of pride in impeccably preserving and restoring the farm, highlighting all of its natural beauties.

1853: The Naches Trail is built. Evidence of the trail still exists on the property today.

1853–1856: Rueben Ashford Finnell homesteaded the Kelley Farm property. He abandoned the property during the Puget Sound Indian War after natives burned down his home and barn.

1864: William Barton Kelley and his family–including his father Nathan Kelley–traveled from Illinois to claim land in the “Northern Territory”. William and Nathan Kelley both claimed land on the banks of the Finnell Creek. William had two sons: John and Michael.

1875: William Barton Kelley was elected a member of Territorial Legislature.

1880: William Barton Kelley was elected Auditor of Pierce County.

1886: The “Ice House” was built and is still in existence on the property. Today, it is known as one of the oldest buildings in Pierce County.

1907: John Ezra Kelley marries Sadie Crader (Crider). John gave Sadie the Kelley Farm house (today’s Yellow House) as a wedding gift. John and Sadie have two children: Marion and Elizabeth.

1960’s: The Kelley Farm served as a dairy.

1970’s: John Kelley died in the 1970s. He was involved in a minor car accident on Elhi Hill. He went to the hospital and was sent home with undetected internal injuries.

1976: Harry Corliss purchases 100 acres from Elizabeth Kelley.

1970’s–80’s: Harry’s son, Scott Corliss took and interest in the property, the beauty, the preservation and the history.

1985: Sadie Kelley passed away.

1988: Elizabeth Kelley (Svinth) died of an aneurism. She was survived by her son Michael and daughter Marion. The remaining Kelley Farm property was willed to Michael.

1993-1999: The Kelley Farm is occupied by the Kelley Creek Brewery.

2001-present: In 2001, the Corliss Family purchased remaining 60 acres of the Kelley property. Restoration of the grounds and buildings began immediately. Today, the farm is restored to better than original condition, maintaining the integrity of the past while blending the modern amenities of today.

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