The Hunter family of the Olympic Peninsula farm, dating back to the 1880s, began growing Christmas trees in 1948.
In the 1950s the Hunters began selling cut trees in Seattle. After the site in the present Northgate area closed, the Hunters learned of an available site in the new neighborhood of Wedgwood. They moved the Christmas tree sales to a vacant lot at what is now a grocery store lot at the corner of NE 85th Street along 35th Ave NE. This post-World-War-Two neighborhood was acquiring a Wedgwood identity.
In the 1940s and 1950s developer Albert Balch was building small starter homes accessible to young couples, especially war veterans. The name “Wedgwood” started out as just a plat name for houses he was building but eventually “Wedgwood” caught on as the name for the neighborhood.
In the 1950s when Wedgwood housing developer Balch was approached about giving space for Christmas tree sales he enthusiastically agreed. He knew that such a fun activity would enhance the life of the neighborhood. At first the sales were on 35th Ave NE at the southeast corner of NE 85th Street, where as yet no stores had been built. Balch had been using this lot (present site of the Wedgwood Broiler and other stores) for parking construction vehicles and other supplies such as lumber. Balch had acquired this corner lot in 1942 where incredibly nothing had ever been built, after long-time ownership of the Fulton family.
The Hunter Tree Farm sales lot in Wedgwood eventually got crowded out of the NE 85th Street site as the shopping center grew to include a restaurant (today’s Wedgwood Broiler) and other stores such as the original grocery building (Tradewell) in 1959. The Hunters were able to move their Christmas tree sales to 7744 35th Ave NE (next to the Wedgwood Post Office) where it remains today. At first the Hunters leased this site and then were able to buy it.
On November 27, 2021, family patriarchs William O. & Carol Hunter are celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary. They no longer come out to spend the month of December at the tree lot but generations of Hunters are there to carry on the tradition.
Hunter Tree Farm Christmas tree sales at 7744 35th Ave NE is open 9 AM to 9 PM through December 23, 2021.