The nearest neighbors of the Surface family were the George Zimmermans who, in 1909, built their original house between the waterfront and Wilkinson Road. For many years, it has belonged to E. L. (Shorty) and Hazel Fuller who until recent retirement, operated a print shop and ceramics gift shop there.
The following account of the Zimmerman family was written by their grand-daughter, Joan Zimmerman Raymond of Seattle.
[Note: Joan Zimmerman Raymond lives in West Seattle with her husband, Steve Raymond, who has been a staff member of the Seattle Times for many years. She comes to the family home site on Wilkinson Road regularly. Each spring she plants a garden there. Joan and Steve met in a journalism class at the University of Washington where they both worked on the University Daily.]
“George and Blanche Zimmerman and their young son Glen arrived on South Whidbey in December, 1907, from Stillwater, Oklahoma.
“The promise of a job at the Sandstone Brick and Lime plant and stories of the island’s beauty from their friend, Frank Hastings, influenced their decision to come to Whidbey. They first rented property from the Wilkinson family on Wilkinson Road.
“After a trip to Montana where their second son, Ray, was born in 1909, the Zimmermans returned to the island and purchased property on Wilkinson Road that remains in the family today.
“The Zimmermans became known for their farm products. They first grew potatoes and other vegetables, then raised dairy cattle and poultry. They raised tomato plants and sold both plants and tomatoes for years beginning in the 1920s. Mrs. Zimmerman was known as the “Tomato Lady” by some island residents who came each year to purchase her Bonnie Best tomato seedlings. She raised the tomatoes from seed each year until 1975, the year she died at the age of 92. George Zimmerman died in 1953.”