University of Washington Biological Preserve coastline.
Home built by islanders John & Hallie Hoffman Mathisen 

 in the 1920s; removed by controlled burn in the 1980s.
Ceremonies dedicating the Cedar Rock Preserve on Shaw Island "to the glory of nature" in the memory of the late Mr. Robert Hale Ellis, Jr., were held on the property's waterfront at the time of the one year anniversary in 1976. The acceptance by the University of Washington of the 273.4-acres is for use in scientific programs. The property is valued at close to one million dollars and includes 7,4340 front feet on the water between Hoffman Cove and Squaw Bay, given to the University by Robert Hale Ellis, Jr.
      The ceremony centered on a bronze plaque set at the western edge of a promontory near the main entrance to the property and bearing the inscription 

"Cedar Rock Preserve is dedicated to the glory of nature and is established in grateful remembrance of my parents, Blanch Eloise Day Ellis and Robert Hale Ellis, whose judgment and foresight have made this possible. Robert Hale Ellis, Jr. 19 December 1976."

      Among the University and Friday Harbor Lab staff and friends attending the ceremony were Dr. Richard B. Strathmann, resident associate director of the Labs, James F. Ryan, UW vice-president for business and finance, and Bruce Rooney, UW physical plant staff assistant. Ellis, a landscape architect in Portland, has been a long time friend of many UW family members.
U of Washington Biological Preserve 
15 April 2015.
Photo courtesy of Angel Bryant©

      The land will be kept and used in an essentially undisturbed state. The beaches are well suited for marine biology programs at the Friday Harbor Labs and the uplands provide a natural environment for studies in forestry, botany, geology and zoology.
      Mr. Ellis bought much of the property from Hallie Hoffman Mathisen and Capt. John Mathisen about 22 years ago. They were the builders of the farm house located near Hoffman Cove and that house now [then] serves as the home for the property caretaker. Previous owners of the land were the parents of Hallie, Del and Kate Gordon Hoffman. They had purchased the land from a Mr. Stickney, who had bought from the Hoffmans but sold the land back to them when his health failed.* Original owners of other property involved in the Ellis gift to the UW were the Holbrook and Glossop families.
      During those years the land was used primarily for agricultural purposes.
      In recent years Mr. Ellis has been generous in the kinds of things that have been done with the property. For several years the former Mathisen farm on Hoffman Cove was used by Portland groups for camp programs. Mr. and Mrs. John Angell from Portland directed a combined family and youth camp building and adding temporary facilities as needed. Nature study and games in the field behind the house were popular activities. Sue Morse joined the camp staff one summer, and stayed on year round to keep an eye on things and is staying on as caretaker for the property.
* In the published obituary of islander Joseph L. Stickney it states that he deeded 13 acres of waterfront to Dell Hoffman in 1904.
Typed verbatim from: The Islands Sounder. Vol. 12 No. 26, 1976. 
The Friday Harbor Journal. 31 December 1975
Photo and news clippings source: archive of the Shaw Island Gatehouse.

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