Eilleen Worthington offers the Quilcene Historical Museum the option to buy the Worthington house – and begins the project to create Worthington Park.
Preserving Local History and Uplifting Our Community
In July 2011, nearing the end of her life, Eilleen Worthington offered the museum a two-year purchase option to buy her home, the 1892 Victorian Mansion, the 1915 barn, two outbuildings, and ten acres, some bordering the Little Quilcene River. Eilleen’s interests in offering her house to the Quilcene Historical Museum stemmed from her interest in furthering education and ensuring that the house would remain standing as a local landmark. The Quilcene Historical Museum board of directors began a campaign to buy the home and 10 acre grounds for $300,000. During the period of fundraising, Eilleen Worthington gave permission for an amphitheater – Linger Longer Stage – to be built on the property, which has become a key location for fundraising, community events, concerts, private parties, and education.
Following the receipt of grants such as the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust and extensive fundraising efforts, the Quilcene Historical Museum purchased the Worthington Mansion, historic barn, several outbuildings, and ten acres in 2013. The residence was rapidly deteriorating, but its cultural and historical significance were central motivators in restoring it as a community asset. The Worthington Park project has, with other new community organizations, played a major role in fostering a significant increase in community revitalization and the start of several small businesses in Quilcene. Even with restorations unfinished, the Quilcene Historical Museum’s goal of uplifting our community was well underway!
In January 2014, the Worthington House was given Washington State and later National Historic Trust historic designation. It is the only remaining house of its size, integrity, and cultural relevance in rural Jefferson County. More recently, Worthington Park was honored with the receipt of the Stewardship SPHO Award from the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, during the Historic Preservation Month in May 2018.