Island Landmarks — the nonprofit that owns the Mukai Farmhouse and has wrestled with a group of Vashon Islanders for control of it — is advertising a week-long open house at the historic property.
The organization’s website says the property on 107th Ave. will be open for cherry blossom viewing from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 4, through Saturday, May 11. The website calls the event an open house but doesn’t specify whether the house will be open during that time. The event was also advertised in The Seattle Times’ classified section.
Public access to the farmhouse has been a point of contention between Island Landmarks and the state. Earlier this year, the head of the state Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, who performed an inspection at the site, sent a strongly worded three-page letter to Mary Matthews, president of Island Landmarks, listing her concerns about the organization’s management of the property. Among other concerns, she said she saw little evidence of public access to the site, a requirement of a state grant the nonprofit received to purchase the property more than a decade ago.
In a reply, Matthews took issue with the agency’s claims and said she routinely opens up the site to visitors when the cherry trees are in bloom or by appointment. Recently the property has been fenced off, with no-trespassing signs posted.
Calls to the Mukai Farmhouse and Mary Matthews were not returned.