On the outskirts of the Langley area, to the southeast, on what is now Wilkinson Road, a Scottish man, John MacDonald, (sometimes spelled McDonald) and his wife, Mary, established their home.

John left Glasgow, Scotland in 1879 and Mary and their three children followed in 1883. They settled first in Pennsylvania where their daughter, Margaret was born. They also lived for a short time in Nebraska before settling on South Whidbey in 1889.
Their first home on Wilkinson Rd. was a log house, but they later built the impressive, two story residence which is presently a landmark in the area. It was patterned after the home of a relative in Scotland who was a member of Parliament.
The timbers in the house were cut from the homestead and were hand hewn, the doors were four inches thick and the staircase and the fireplace were copied after those in the elaborate Scottish home.
The MacDonalds were the parents of Robert, Alexander, William, Margaret, Flora and Agnes.
Flora remained in the family home, attempting to maintain it as a monument to her father. Her funeral services were held there upon her death in 1981.
The Museum has a booklet titled “I Remember Flora” about Flora McDonald Burkert, written by an acquaintance of hers for 69 years.
Here is an excerpt:
The MacDonald family left Scotland in about 1880 for America with their three children, John, Bob and Agnes. Margaret was born shortly after their arrival in the East, followed by Alex in Seattle the year of the great fire. Both Will and Flora were later born on Whidbey Island in the little log cabin their Father had built when he obtained Homestead Rights to a fine piece of Island property.
And speaking of that little old log cabin: Some of the sweetest of my childhood memories are wrapped around that simple rustic place.
To begin with, behind the picket fence which encompassed it, grew a wealth of beautiful old fashioned flowers…all shades and colors, planted by the loving hands of a gentle lady, Mrs. MacDonald, whose smiling eyes seemed almost bluer than the Bells of Scotland growing beside her door. I would sit enthralled while she enchanted us with delightful tales of that bonnie bonnie land, the “Old Country, so very far across the sea. I shall never forget the rich brrrr of that thick accent, punctuated with merriment at my wide eyed credulity… truly a great lady with the spirit of a pioneer, and the soul of an angel.
Mr. MacDonald, a highly skilled ship’s carpenter, worked part time in Seattle for several years to expedite the ranch’s development.
By 1911 when he retired, the three oldest children had left home, seeking a livelihood in Canada and elsewhere. In the meantime, Mr. MacDonald had cherished a dream… to construct a fine home patterned after the residence of an uncle in Scotland who was a member of the parliament there.
Being a master at woodcraft, there could be only the finest of workmanship, wooden pegs instead of nails in the interior, a double well stairway of cedar, treated and hand rubbed, with beautiful ornate arches in the lavish hallway… and using only the virgin timber on his land he must expertly fashion the wood to fit perfectly in the total construction.
All in all it was a tremendous undertaking, but somehow it must be accomplished. Of the three youngest children still at home, Alex spent most of his tine working elsewhere with the team, and Will found employment in Everett, thus leaving only Flora primarily to work hand and shoulder with her Father over the long arduous years ahead.
The preliminary planning had included completion of the basement, converting standing timber into lumber to be stored until needed for the actual construction, planning and sanding was done in the barn, Flora and her Father frequently drudging by lantern light until two in the morning.
When Flora arose at five A.M. there were horses and cattle to be cared for, forty or more hogs to be fed before she was ready to start work again with her Father at seven.
Sometimes on their days off, Alex and Will would help. It was an arduous, exhausting and sometimes tortuous procedure, but neither Flora or her Father ever yielded to the relinquishment of their dream or its ultimate accomplishment.
However, the upstairs hall and five bedrooms had just been completed when Mr. MacDonald suffered a stroke, but under her Father’s tutelage Flora had learned enough to carry on the unfinished project. The downstairs hall, large living and dining rooms were still unfinished and so much yet to be done; but Mr. MacDonald’s mind cleared and he was able to supervise the remainder of the structure.
Will was called into service to apply the lathing throughout, and when he returned to his position on the mainland, Bob came back to help put on the cedar siding, difficult for him as he had lost an arm.
Finally the house was ready for occupancy, although lacking some of its planned refinements, so Mr. MacDonald returned to Seattle for additional employment. Work was scarce, however, and he sustained another stroke, so he retired permanently in 1922.
Flora married in 1923, but the large barn burned down that year, followed shortly by her Father’s severe illness, so Flora returned and took over day and night nursing before he passed away.
Soon after, Mrs. MacDonald also became ill, was paralyzed, and she too required her daughter’s ministering’s for two years before her death.
Flora had to sacrifice her own life with her dear husband, and leave the little home he had purchased for her so that she could watch over the family clan which was, from then on, beset with a succession of illness and death. These included her husband, Emerson, sister Margaret who had returned home in ill health, brother Bob, and finally Alex and Will, all of whom were dependent upon Flora ’s compassionate bravery and nursing skill.
Like one of the great trees remaining on her land, buffeted by storm and wind, Flora staunchly bowed to the tragic vicissitudes of her almost cruelly demanding life, meeting each challenge with deep and courageous acceptance
— From “I Remember Flora”