Northern State Hospital tour

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Terry's tales from Willowbrook Manor
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Saying 'Thank you' with Flowers


There is something soothing about going to a garden to pick a basket of flowers, especially when they are meant for someone special.  My hydrangeas are in bloom, and when paired with blossoms from the adjacent butterfly bush, the ensemble is beautiful.  I picked this bouquet today as a 'thank you' to all of you who help spread the word about Willowbrook.  Many of you voted for us in the 'Best of the Northwest'.  Many of you shared my posts on social media and some of you even forwarded my newsletters to your friends and family. A handful of you sent in your teacup story for me to share! When people come for tea or a bike tour or for an overnight stay, many say they heard about Willowbrook from a good friend.  These flowers are a token of my heartfelt gratitude for helping to make my little business (and this newsletter) a success. Thank you.


Northern State Hospital Bike Tour

Our historic Northern State Hospital Tour is a must-do this summer.  The iconic hospital grounds that served the mentally ill for 60 years have been closed to the public for decades, but the Port of Skagit is now the new owner and plans are to open parts of the campus to the public.  The Port and Skagit County Parks and Rec. are working with me to allow guided bike tours to showcase the beauty and history of the hospital and the adjacent farm where patients worked as part of treatment.  The tour makes for a wonderful day! 

The tour begins with tea and scones on the East Lawn boasting beautiful views of farmland and the Cascade mountains.  After learning the story of its beginning, our guests board bikes to begin their ride to Northern State Hospital.  

At each stop our historian shares facts and stories of the hospital and the people who lived and worked there. 

The banks of Hansen Creek offer the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delicious box lunch.

After learning about the farm, dairy and cannery and how the whole entity was self-sustaining, our tour takes us to the cemetery where over 1400 patients are buried in nameless graves. 

Then we travel the scenic Cascade trail back to Willowbrook to enjoy some iced tea.  This is a wonderful experience to make your summer memorable.
Book Your Northern State Hospital Tour


Blast from the Past


I was looking through some old photos recently and came across this one of me from the '80s.  (The big hair and shoulder pads date it) I don't know where we were camping but I was amused to observe me cooking breakfast over a fire whilst sipping tea from a china cup.  My kinda livin'! 


Harvest Tea is coming!


It is almost time to celebrate the harvest and the coming of fall.  Sharing tea with friends is my idea of celebrating. The first two Fridays and Saturdays in October are when I host Harvest Tea.  I pick apples from the orchard, herbs from the garden and enjoy baking and making delicious savory sandwiches and sweets for my guests to enjoy.  I'm taking reservations now. You will love coming to my Harvest Tea experience!
Book Your Harvest Tea Experience


Tea Cup Time ~

I am thrilled to be receiving stories from readers about favorite tea cups!  Thank you Penny for your heartwarming story below.  Watch for Ellen's story coming up next issue!
When I was first dating my late husband John, his brother from out of town came for his 40th birthday.  The three of us made a trip to Victoria BC.  Well, you know, there is no shortage of teacups in Victoria!  During our visit, my husband (then boyfriend) said to me, “pick out a tea cup and I will get it for you.”  As I am known, I had to review nearly every teacup in Victoria, in and out of more stores than I can mention looking for the just perfect teacup, the right handle, not too shallow, the prettiest pattern, etc..
If you have a favorite tea cup and story, please share it with us!
Well I finally found one to my liking, Elizabethan, Staffordshire, Harewood, it is still my favorite!  Two years after the teacup purchase, I married my favorite man.
I still to this day think about these two brothers having the patience with me going in and out of teacup stores.  
I am a lucky woman to have been married to such a loving man who will always be “just my cup of tea.”
Respectfully submitted
Share a teacup story

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