Mary and Joseph Smith gazed in perplexity at the log building which was to be their temporary home. They had just purchased a 40-acre farm from Will and Ada Campbell on what is now the intersection of the Campbell and Cultus Bay Roads, not far from Kyllonen Hill.
“It looks like it has been a Russian bath house,” Mary surmised. (More than likely it was a Finnish sauna although this was never verified.) The structure was probably built and then discarded by Herman Kyllonen whose property was further down the road. Whatever it had been, after some refurbishing, it became the first home of the Smith family who arrived on South Whidbey from Arizona by way of Everett around 1905.
Their daughter, Ada, had married Will Campbell back in Arizona where the Smith and Campbell families had been friends for years.
Ada and Will moved to South Whidbey in 1904, settling on a part of the Frank Ball property at Deer Lake. They started buying other parcels of land, eventually accumulating about 400 acres in various parts of the community. They made a business of buying and selling real estate. Among their holdings were 120 acres along what was is now the Campbell Road.
Ada wrote home to her parents in Arizona such glowing accounts of the Pacific Northwest that Joseph and Mary Smith decided to move north and see for themselves. After a sojourn in Everett, they purchased 40 acres from their son-in- law and moved their family temporarily into the renovated bath house, while they constructed a permanent dwelling.
Besides their married daughter, Ada Campbell, the Smiths had two others, Myrtle and Violet, and a son, Guy, who became Clinton postmaster. Violet married a son of the pioneer Nourse family. She died when her daughter, Ardelle (Mrs. Conrad Orr) was 11. Ardelle was raised by the Smith and Campbell families after her mother’s death. Guy and his wife were the parents of two daughters, Geraldine (Mrs. Elliot Maylor) who lives in Clinton, and Elaine (Mrs. Robert Thrasher) who lives near Freeland.
Myrtle married her sweetheart from Arizona, Lester Herbert Campbell (Bert), a brother of Will Campbell. He had followed the Campbell and Smith families to South Whidbey.
In 1926 Bert and Myrtle had set their wedding date, but two weeks before the ceremony, Myrtle’s mother, Mary Smith, died. The couple thought they should postpone their wedding, but the bereaved Joseph Smith asked them to go ahead as planned. He wanted them to take over the Smith house and farm, and to make a home for him in his declining years. For a while, the family operated a small produce store and a Shell gasoline station at the intersection of Campbell and Cultus Bay Roads.
With the marriage of Bert Campbell and Myrtle Smith, the two families had a double link since Myrtle’s sister, Ada, and Bert’s brother, Will, were also married. Back in Arizona a Campbell girl married a Smith man, binding the two families together three ways.
In the meantime another Campbell brother, George, decided to visit his relatives on South Whidbey after his wife’s death in Arizona. His visit became permanent when he met and married Bessie Walters, a widow. (She was the mother of Denny Walters, a well known local resident.)
Most of the descendants of the Campbell and Smith families still reside on South Whidbey. Una Campbell, daughter of Will and Ada, married Bert Erikson. Larry and Dean Campbell, sons of Bert and Myrtle, married two sisters, Judy and Gloria Porter, daughters of Omer Porter. Judy and Larry, who are now separated, had six children. Two of them, Don and David, reside on South Whidbey. Dean and Gloria, who presently reside on Baby Island Road have three children Joyce, Laurie, and Douglas.
Campbell Road, named for the Campbell family, historically was the main road northward from Clinton and Deer Lake up to its intersection with the Cultus Bay Road. From there it meanders westward down Kyllonen Hill to join Maxwelton Road. Its eastern terminal is in Campbell’s Glen which was at one time owned by Will Campbell. He owned a small motel there.