Yarrow Point neighbors celebrate community on holiday

Jeanne Berry came to the little nook of a town Yarrow Point to raise her fledgling family and stayed for 30 years and two mayoral terms.

It's that kind of place, she said, the kind of place you don't just want to live, you also want to serve.

It's the kind of place where you meet people just walking around, where the whole town works elbow to elbow every Fourth of July to celebrate community, where the big city isn't too far or too close and where wide, quiet streets meander among large homes with spacious lawns.

"Living here you will be a part of a community, you will get to know your neighbors and you won't feel isolated or lonely. My husband and I have stayed here 30 years because it is a wonderful community where our interactions with our neighbors are ongoing, easy and low-key," said Berry, former mayor of Yarrow Point.

"This is not a gated community that says, 'Stay out.' This is an open, welcoming community that is vibrant and growing."

Yarrow Point juts out along the Lake Washington shoreline between Kirkland and Bellevue near Hunts Point, Medina and Clyde Hill.

Like many of these communities, Yarrow Point is a high-end real-estate market. Current homes on the market run from $1.1 million to $3.5 million for four or five bedrooms.

The town was homesteaded in the late 1880s, and in 1959 was incorporated with its own city council, mayor, planning commission and public-works department.

According to the town Web site, Yarrow Point was incorporated to "preserve its unique characteristics in the face of significant changes throughout the greater Puget Sound region." According to Mayor Dave Cooper, those characteristics can be summed up in a few words.

"This is a great place to live. I've lived here for 27 years. It's a nice, quiet, accessible community," said Cooper.

With no commercial or industrial property whatsoever in its 231 acres, and approximately 1,000 residents in roughly 400 homes, Yarrow Point is the very definition of a bedroom community.

Just five miles by floating bridge from Seattle and four miles to the heart of downtown Bellevue, it is accessible to city life without all the bustle and noise.

The town promotes its sylvan look and feel as a respite to residents. And the 16-acre Wetherill Nature Preserve snuggled between Yarrow Point and Hunts Point along the shore of Cozy Cove increases the countryside feel of this quiet town.

But if you ask Berry, one of the greatest amenities of her community is its love for celebrating community, and the best celebration of all is the annual four-day, 12-event Fourth of July fete.

"Our whole community and their families and friends all come together to celebrate with street dances, pet parades, parties, hot dogs, pies and all those great old-fashioned Americana events that get people out, meeting each other and having a great time," Berry said.

"I believe that the greatest way to build a community is to celebrate it."

Yarrow Point juts out along the Lake Washington shoreline between Kirkland and Bellevue near Hunts Point, Medina and Clyde Hill. (GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Population: 998

Schools: Yarrow Point is served by the Bellevue Public School District.

Housing: Of 398 total housing units, 90 percent are owner occupied, 5 percent are renter occupied, and about 5 percent are vacant.

Nearby medical facilities: The hospital nearest to Yarrow Point is Overlake Hospital in Bellevue.

Public facilities: Wetherill Nature Preserve. The 16-acre preserve was given to the towns of Yarrow Point and Hunts Point in 1988 by Sidonia Wetherill Foley and Marjorie Wetherill Baird, descendants of a pioneer Seattle family.

— Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf