The Nakashima Family & Farm



Want the full scoop?

Watch the entire interview with Henry Egashira, a 3rd generation descendent of the Nakashima pioneers, to learn more about the history of the Nakashima family and farm.


A cross section of Snohomish history, the Nakashima Farm property has evolved from old growth forest to mill to farm to recreation.

In 1889 the railroad came through the land known as Nakashima Farm en route to Canada. The rail spur that reaches the farm would become known as the “Day Spur.”  In 1905 Daniel Waldo Bass established the Bass Lumber Company there. Bass would close the mill in 1908 and eventually sell the site in 1937 to the Nakashima Family. nIn the interim the Nakashimas lived on the farm and in 1910 built the three-bay three-story, gambrel roofed barn. Like many dairy farmers in the area the Nakashimas sold their milk to the Arlington Condensery which ironically was canning milk for product export to their native country of Japan.

In 1997 the farm was sold to the Trust for Public Lands and held until its purchase by Snohomish County for parks land and open space.

  • Nakashima Farm was a thick  verdant Pacific Northwest forest up until the 1880s.

    Nakashima Farm was a thick verdant Pacific Northwest forest up until the 1880s.

  • Smaller steam trains such as the one pictured often came on the “Day Spur” to collect logs from the farm. (Photo courtesy of the Everett Public Library)

    Smaller steam trains such as the one pictured often came on the “Day Spur” to collect logs from the farm. (Photo courtesy of the Everett Public Library)

Nakashima Family History

Kamezo Nakashima worked on this land for 34 years, forced out by Executive Order 9066 requiring all those of Japanese descent to be interned. This darker side of US history is evidence of discriminatory laws throughout our past. When Kamezo first purchased the farm in 1937, land laws of the time prevented non-citizens from owning land; so the property was deeded to his oldest son Takeo, an American citizen. Takeo Nakashima sold the farm to Iver Drivstuen and his wife Bergie in 1942 for $12,825, well below market value. They were some of the few who actually received compensation for their property. Many Japanese citizens were forced to abandon all of their belongings and start over after the war ended. During WWII, the Nakashimas were relocated to internment camps.  

As of 2012, Nakashima Farm is the only dairy farm in Snohomish County to ever have been owned by Asian Pacific Americans, and was one of the earliest farms in Snohomish County.

  • A photo from the Nakashima family album shows the original homestead under construction with members of the family working on the house. Circa 1930

    A photo from the Nakashima family album shows the original homestead under construction with members of the family working on the house. Circa 1930

  • The Nakashima family brought the first registered Guernsey Cows direct from the Island of Guernsey in England.  Other dairy farmers had brought this breed to the valley earlier, but none of those cows had official breeding registration.

    The Nakashima family brought the first registered Guernsey Cows direct from the Island of Guernsey in England. Other dairy farmers had brought this breed to the valley earlier, but none of those cows had official breeding registration.

  • Pictured here on the farm is Henry Egashira, the son of Kimi Egashira, the eldest daughter of Kamezo and Miyi Nakashima.  Henry often arrived to the farm by train.  He and his mother were visiting relatives in Japan when WWII broke out.  They would not be allowed to return to the U.S. for seven years. (Photo courtesy the Nakashima/Egashira Family Photo Collection)

    Pictured here on the farm is Henry Egashira, the son of Kimi Egashira, the eldest daughter of Kamezo and Miyi Nakashima. Henry often arrived to the farm by train. He and his mother were visiting relatives in Japan when WWII broke out. They would not be allowed to return to the U.S. for seven years. (Photo courtesy the Nakashima/Egashira Family Photo Collection)

  • Although their source of income was dairy farming, the Nakashimas raised corn and other produce on the farm to feed their family. (Photo courtesy of Densho, the Japanese American Legacy Project)

    Although their source of income was dairy farming, the Nakashimas raised corn and other produce on the farm to feed their family. (Photo courtesy of Densho, the Japanese American Legacy Project)

In 1980, Congress created the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians to examine the internment relocation programs. Two years later, the commission decided that relocation was motivated by “racism” and war time hysteria” in a report titled "Personal Justice Denied". In 1988, Congress sanctioned compensation payments and issued an official apology from the U.S. Government.

One of the largest internment camps was Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho. Members of the Nakashima family were known to have been held there.  Minidoka was one of ten camps in the U.S.  The camp became listed as a National Historic Place in 1979. In 2001 President Bill Clinton established the camp as a national monument which is managed by the National Park Service.

Nearly 120,000 first-generation Japanese immigrants and their American-born citizen children were interned due to World War II, Executive Order 9066 established by President, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Three generations of the Nakashima Family visit the farm and new Centennial Trail trailhead in March of 2013.

Three generations of the Nakashima Family visit the farm and new Centennial Trail trailhead in March of 2013.