Evelyn and Earl Leatham lived and worked in Pittsburgh, PA and purchased a piece of high-bank waterfront property on the western coast of Lopez Island as a vacation spot. When Earl and their daughter Lynn died in Pittsburgh in 1975, Evelyn moved full-time to their Lopez home. She remained staunchly independent for her golden years and repeatedly demonstrated her love for community, animals, and nature.
Upon her death in 2007, Evelyn bequeathed her shoreline property on Lopez Island to the San Juan Preservation Trust.
Upon receipt of this generous bequest, the Preservation Trust placed a Conservation Easement on the property that protects 319 feet of scenic shoreline and just over six acres of native mixed forest while allowing a maximum of one single-family home site. After placing these permanent development restrictions on the property, the Preservation Trust then sold the conserved land with its existing house. The Preservation Trust’s board of trustees designated the revenues from the sale of Evelyn’s property would be used to seed the Trust’s Campaign to Save Watmought Bight on Evelyn’s beloved Lopez Island.
“Evelyn was an amazing woman with a deep passion for the San Juans and our wildlife,” said Barbara Estenson, a longtime friend. “In addition to conserving her own land, which she loved, Evelyn would be thrilled to know that her bequest will also fund the preservation of more wildlife habitat in the islands.”