Who We Are
Kimberly-Shirk Association Mission Statement:
The Kimberly-Shirk Association is dedicated to the preservation of Kimberly Crest House & Gardens to:
SHARE the aesthetic experience of the estate
EDUCATE visitors about the history and significance of the events, people, objects and culture of Kimberly Crest; and
INSPIRE in others the vision and leadership in education, philanthropy, community and human values exemplified by Mary Kimberly Shirk.
Kimberly Crest’s high quality of design makes it one of the most important representatives of the Chateauesque style in California. Dating from 1897, the property is composed of the Chateauesque style residence and carriage house, a formal Italian garden and approximately three acres of citrus. Kimberly Crest derives historical significance in the contexts of social history and education through its association with Helen Cheney Kimberly and her daughter Mary Kimberly Shirk, whose ownership and occupancy spanned three-quarters of the 20th century. Mrs. Kimberly’s husband, J. Alfred Kimberly, whose name remains a legacy to 19th century industrialism and entrepreneurship in the form of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, financially and morally supported his wife and youngest daughter’s endeavors.
In 1963 there was a community effort to raise money to match a Federal grant to purchase Prospect Park (a 39 acre botanical park east of and adjacent to Kimberly Crest) for the City of Redlands. To motivate support for this worthwhile project, Mrs. Shirk promised to give her home to the “people of Redlands” if the needed money was raised. The incentive worked. The park was acquired in 1968. The following year the Kimberly-Shirk Association was formed. The organization was directed with responsibility of ownership, maintenance, and care of Kimberly Crest House & Gardens. In 1981 the Association acquired the home and opened it to the public following the death of Mary Shirk. In 1989 the site was designated a City of Redlands Historic Landmark, a California State Landmark in 1995, and in 1996 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.