History


The Ashford Story

The Ashfords homesteaded in the Nisqually Valley in 1880. By 1891, they had filed for and established the town site of Ashford.

In the early years, three trains daily made their final stop in Ashford, with tourists for the recently established Mount Rainer National park. For years, until supplanted by the automobile, Mr. Ashford drove a horse drawn buggy to headquarters in Longmire. Part of the original old pony trail is still to be seen east of the home.

An Ashford daughter, Zina, married W.S. Van Dyke, who was to become MGM’s leading movie director throughout the 1920’s and 30’s. He was responsible for many epic productions, including Marie Antoinette, Trader Horn, and the Jeannette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy productions which are still to be seen on televisions to this day. Mr. Ashford financed the couple’s move to Hollywood in 1914, and was thus responsible for one of movieland’s most illustrious careers.

The elder Ashfords both died in the mid-thirties and the mansion was then acquired by their youngest daughter, Mildred, who went on to marry Mr. James C. Beech, a respected World War II pilot.

After the death of Mildred Ashford Beech in 1967, the mansion passed through several different owners. After spending time as a private residence, as well as an English-style Bed & Breakfast, the mansion came into the possession of its current owner, Mr. Willard Jones, who has taken great care to restore the mansion and ensure its continued longevity for generations to come.