The Mission of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center is to empower students and families from diverse backgrounds to be healthy and active citizens through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education. Our Vision is to reconnect students and families to the natural environment through food, education and community engagement.
Oliver C. Noyes purchased the Noyes House in 1925 and lived there with his wife until 1947 when ill health forced him to live in a sanitarium. Murvel (Bud) and Esther Newlan purchased the house and it became home for their family of three children. Janet, Scott, and Marian grew up in a very special home. They roamed the canyons, played on the enormous lawn, and scoured the house for hidden treasure–there was none.
Esther Newlan, who had loved the house since she was a child, finally sold the homestead in 1986 to John and Christy Walton of Wal-Mart. She was very relieved to find a couple that could and would keep the house, remodel it, and maintain it for a family. They did remodel, keeping the essence of the home as it had been when built in 1896.
Each family who lived at 2525 “N” Avenue has special memories of the Noyes House. For the Newlan family Christmas morning always meant a large glistening tree in the formal living room called the Green Room. The fire crackled, grandparents, Harry and Jessie Clark were always seated next to the children as gifts were unwrapped. Laughter ensued as the dogs ran through the torn paper as if it were special game. Then breakfast was served in the dining room.
Winter nights the Newlans would gather in the front smaller living room, the TV Room, watch the fire and talk over the day’s events. Spring meant Easter baskets on the back lawn with the Doberman Pincher chasing to get to the candy before the children could. Summer meant barbeques and backyard picnics. And yes, there was the time Scott brought the horse, Taco, into the kitchen just to see if he could do it. It was difficult to know who was more unhappy, Mrs. Newlan or the horse.