Lee Wyatt Lives On

Lee Wyatt lives on the property homesteaded by his great-grandfather, Robert Wyatt, the founder of Holly.  He can show you the thicket of brush and vine where his grandfather’s house once stood.  He can point out an old and somewhat haggard-looking holly tree on the hill – one that his grandfather planted and named Holly after.  And he can point out the flat stretch of land near the beach that had been the route of a road around the Bay at one time. And the creek that borders the property referred to as Thomas Creek or Holly Creek depending on when and who gave you the information.

Lee inherited his great-grandfather’s family bible.  It’s a thick beautiful volume that holds the recorded history of Wyatt births, marriages, and deaths. He showed it at the Centennial Celebration. 

Lee also has a copy of Robert Wyatt’s application to receive ownership of his homesteaded acreage. It’s dated 1889.  There are three pages of Robert’s beautiful penmanship attesting to his having met all the requirements of the Homestead Act.  We learn he’s built a one and one-half story home measuring14’ X 24’ that houses his wife and remaining seven children.  We learn he was sick enough for three weeks in September 1889 to be taken to Seattle for care and was again sick for three days in October and three days in November. He was referred to as “semi-invalid” in the Kitsap County History book but managed to clear acreage and build a house and chicken coop.  All his worldly possessions are detailed in the application, i.e. 4 beds, 6 chairs, 1 table, 1 organ, 1 cookstove, 1 clock, 3 hoes, 3 axes, 1 saw, 1 spade, and 1 wheelbarrow. 

Robert died in 1990 and is buried in the Holly Cemetery.  He donated the land for the cemetery in 1895.

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