About The Garden:
Kimberly Crest, a picturesque French chateau style home built in 1897, is a well preserved example of the Victorian Era in California. The 7,000 square foot, three-story chateau sits on a six and one quarter acre estate two miles south of downtown Redlands, at 1325 Prospect Drive, and is enjoyed by more than 11,000 visitors annually.
Originally built by Mrs. Cornelia A. Hill, a widow from New York State, the home was purchased by J. Alfred Kimberly (a co-founder of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation) and Helen Cheney Kimberly in 1905. Their widowed daughter, Mary Kimberly Shirk, lived in the home from 1920 until her death in 1979.
The house's unique features include a French revival parlor complete with gilt furniture and silk damask wall coverings. Terraced Italian gardens, orange groves and ponds surround this historic landmark home. The lily ponds feature radiant Koi; vivid red, pink and yellow lilies against deep green majestic lotus blossoms; and papyrus. In 1998, KSA was made an honorary member of the Inland Koi Society who maintains the lily ponds at Kimberly Crest.
In 1963 there was a community effort to raise money to purchase Prospect Park (a 39 acre botanical park east and adjacent to Kimberly Crest) for the City of Redlands. To motivate support for this project, Mrs. Shirk promised to give her home to the "people of Redlands," if the needed money was raised. The park was acquired in 1968. The following year the Kimberly-Shirk Association, a non-profit corporation was formed. In her will, Mrs. Shirk left the house to the Association for the people of Redlands.