washington arboretum

Arboretum Foundation - Seattle, Washington

Mary Elsie Pearson near Mill Creek, Snohomish County, WA. Photo by E.H. Pearson

Mary Elsie Pearson near Mill Creek, Snohomish County, WA. Photo by E.H. Pearson

Mentioned in the previous post, Mary E. Pearson was active in Seattle's burgeoning ecological conservation culture. Prior to serving as First Vice Chairman of The Arboretum Foundation in 1958, Mrs. Pearson independently studied Pacific Northwest flora both on the rugged slopes of the Cascade Mountains and in the arboretums and parks of Seattle. Botany and landscape design become her highest passion. The following documents were scanned from a large binder of notes recently found in the Pearson Collection.  For an avid botanist or gardener living in temperate Pacific coastal climates, this information would be of high value. 

Mary Elsie Mueller

B: June 24, 1908  Roswell, New Mexico  //  D: April 4, 1998  Seattle, Washington

Mary Pearson, pictured here sitting in [their] classic adventure car, fully packed with camp gear against a backdrop of North Cascades wilderness. An area of which Mary Pearson had a large part in helping designate as today's North Cascades National Park. The image was shot by her newlywed husband, Hal Pearson (E.H.P.) in 1932. There are hundreds of photos to share from their times spent in the Pacific Northwest. Climbing, picnicking and celebrating the outdoors were not just weekend getaways. 

Mary spent a lifetime shaping conservation efforts in Seattle's Puget Sound. Working closely with friend and neighbor Emily Haig (former president of Seattle Audubon Society), as well as establishing and maintaining the Washington Park Arboretum in Montlake residential district in Seattle, WA. Other affiliations include active memberships of the Seattle Mountaineers, the Nature Conservancy (Washington Chapter), Seattle Girl Scouts and Washington Arboretum Foundation. These photos share a snippet of the joy Mary and Hal retained exploring Western Washington’s backcountry in the early 1930’s.