Racebrook, a private investment firm, and its auction affiliate Sheldon Good & Company, announced that Heronswood Gardens estate and Heronswood Nursery were sold for an undisclosed amount to the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, a Native American tribe that has ancestral lands located within the 15-acre property, which is on the Kitsap Peninsula, in Kingston, Washington. The sale resulted from a sealed-bid auction conducted by Sheldon Good & Company and was done under the direction of the estate’s owner, W. Atlee Burpee & Company.
Heronswood Gardens encompasses a private complex of botanical gardens that has played a pivotal role in introducing the United States to thousands of exotic plants gathered from remote regions across the globe. It currently features over 10,000 plants derived from over 7,000 taxa (genera and species), many of which were collected during expeditions to Central America, South America, China, Nepal, South Africa and other exotic locales by Dan Hinkley, acclaimed horticulturalist and builder of the estate. It is comprised of 6 separate components, including 3 homes and 3 parcels of land.
The sale, which Sheldon Good & Company did in conjunction with John L. Scott Real Estate, included all of Heronswood Nursery’s proprietary breeding lines, trademarks and direct-marketing assets such as its website and picture catalogues. Burpee will maintain exclusive rights to previous Heronswood varieties and collections.
Jeromy Sullivan, Chairman of Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe said, “Heronswood represents the pride and hard work of this community and we’re happy we’re able to play a role in its future. We understand how passionate people are about Heronswood and, as a neighbor, we are committed to maintaining this local treasure. We look forward to gaining insight and expertise from the previous owners as well as working with the community to help shape Heronswood’s future.”
George Ball, Chairman of W. Atlee Burpee & Co. which has owned Heronswood for the past 12 years said, “The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe has agreed both to preserve the historic gardens, and to use the facilities to educate their members, as well as the public, about native plants. We hope to assist it in carrying out its mission with support from the Burpee Foundation, since it is entirely consistent with the work we are currently involved in throughout the nation.”
ABOUT PORT GAMBLE S’KLALLAM TRIBE
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, originally known as the Nux Sklai Yem or Strong People, are descendants of the Salish people who have been well-established in the Puget Sound basin and surrounding areas since 2400 B.C. In the late 1930s, the Port Gamble S’Klallam reservation, located on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, was established. Many of the Tribe’s members, who total about 1,200, still live there today.