Nestled in the Snoqualmie Valley, the 818-acre historic farm property home to Carnation Farms has a deep history within the agricultural and greater Seattle community. Purchased in 1908 by Elbridge Amos Stuart (EA), founder of Carnation Milk, the property became a world renowned dairy farm and research lab. Many of the purebred Holstein cows would set records for milk and butter production and be the basis for herds throughout the world. The company slogan of ‘home of contented cows’ as well as the signature red roofs of the farm building became part of the heritage of the Carnation property, as well as the town of Tolt renaming itself to Carnation in 1917.
EA Stuart in 1899 began the Carnation Milk Company which would grow to become a Fortune 500 company with operations in most countries in the world. In addition to Carnation and operations in the Pacific Northwest, he helped in the development of Seattle’s downtown business core and established a legacy of service through the creation of foundations dedicated to children and families that are still in operation today. In 1985 the Carnation Milk Company was sold by the Stuart family to Nestle, along with the farm property. In 2004 Nestle dissolved the dairy operation and converted the property into a meeting and training facility. Four years later the great grandson of E.A. Stuart, Elbridge Stuart III assisted in the purchase of the property from Nestle to be used for charitable purposes. After the economic crisis of 2008, the Stuart Family, via a family foundation, repurchased the farm in its entirety.
Elbridge Stuart, Debra Stuart, Sarah Stuart Oderyd and Daniel Oderyd, inspired by E. A. Stuart’s philanthropic legacy, founded Carnation Farms in 2016, a non-profit now serving the community from this same historic site.