The man behind Adam Tallman Nature Park

Posted on April 24th, 2023 By:
This is a photo of a wooden sign painted blue with the words "Adam Tallman Nature Park" on it. The photo has a newspaper clipping overlay of an older couple in the corner featuring Adam Tallman.

Adam Tallman Nature Park, 6811 Wagner Way

Giant lily pads and colorful duck sightings are all well and good, but I know what you’ve been thinking since reading my latest kid-venture story on Gig Harbor’s Adam Tallman Nature Park:

“Just who is this Adam Tallman fellow, anyway?” 

Don’t worry, I’ve got the answer. You didn’t think I’d leave ya hanging, did you?

My first stop in asking that very same question was the city’s website. Its Adam Tallman Park page says the park was “acquired in 2001 as an easement from Jim Tallman who developed the adjacent plat.”

While I processed that new information, I tapped my fingers together while channeling my inner Mr. Burns while thinking: “Hmmmm, so this Adam guy has the same last name as the developer. Exxxx-cellent.”

Seeking the two Tallmans’ family connection led me to solve this park’s namesake mini-mystery in the best way: via newspapers! Archive style.

Adam Tallman was … the late Jim Tallman’s dad and a longtime construction worker in Olalla. Awww. And his son named a whole park after him! How sweet is that?

Adam Tallman Sr.

For a hot second, I thought perhaps the park’s namesake was for Jim’s grandpa because Adam Tallman and his own father have the same name. But Gig Harbor city documentslater confirmed that James Tallman wanted it named after his father.


The elder Adam Tallman, however, is still of note here for his local roots. His obit, published in the February 1946 edition of the Kitsap Sun, says the Canadian-born farmer lived in Olalla and had eleven children: Raymond, Adam Lee (our park guy), Chester, Harold, Walter, Mildred and Doris, all of Olalla; as well as Joe, Ronald, Arnold, and Jerry, all of Clinton, Wash. The article says the elder Adam Tallman was born in 1877 and died in 1946, making him about 69 years old at the time of his passing. He’s buried at Olalla’s Froala Cemetery.

Adam Lee Tallman

Various clips of Adam Lee Tallman’s life reflected through pages of newsprint throughout the years tell us he was a man who:

Kitsap Sun | March 5, 1997His son, Adam Lee, meanwhile, also lived in Olalla before he died in 1997 at age 89. He’s currently buried in Gig Harbor’s Haven Of Rest Cemetery, next to his longtime wife, Lucille. Their son, Jim Tallman (the developer) is also buried there after he died in 2021, also at age 89.Was born Oct. 1, 1907 in Minnesota.

  • Lived in different places, but called Olalla home for decades.
  • Wed his wife Lucille (Hagel) Tallman in January 1931. (You may recognize her name, too. She ended up retiring as the dietician for Olalla Elementary School).
  • Had four kids with Lucille: two daughters: Shirley Dinesen of Quilcene and Reva Huddleston of Aberdeen; and two sons: Richard Tallman of Grapeview and our park developer James Tallman of Gig Harbor. (1997 residences listed).
  • Participated in a Chinese pheasant contest sponsored by the “Port Orchard Department Store” with 27 other hunters in November 1938.
  • Filled out a World War II Draft Card on Oct. 16, 1940.

  • Considered himself a fishing sportsman, per his 1958 Letter to the Editor penned to the Kitsap Sun about bass, catfish, and trout.
  • Worked with his hands in the construction field until his retirement in 1969.
  • Celebrated he and Lucille’s golden anniversary of 50 years, one year early in 1980.
  • Had 26 grandchildren and “numerous great-grandchildren (also as of 1997).
  • Remained married to Lucille for 54 years until she preceded him in death in 1985 when she was 75.
  • Followed his wife 12 years later when he died in 1997.
  • Appreciated the local fire department. His obituary asked that in lieu of flowers, donations go to Kitsap County Fire District No. 7 “for the purchase of heart monitors for their trucks.”


But above all, Adam Lee Tallman was “a good man,” according to a letter sent on behalf of James Tallman as he sought to name the park after him.

And now as we walk through the Adam Tallman Nature Park’s forest-y corridors and wetland wonders, we can think of these three generations of Tallmans and say we know a little bit more about them.

If you knew one of the Tallmans, drop a comment under this story on Facebook. I’d love to know more.












Mom and two kids standing with water and boats in the background.


Tonya Strickland is a Gig Harbor mom-of-two, longtime journalist, and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. Her blog, Two in Tow & On the Go, was recently named among the 10 Seattle-Area Instagram Accounts to Follow by ParentMap magazine. Tonya and her husband Bowen recently moved to Gig Harbor from California with their two kids, Clara (9) and Wyatt (7). When they’re not adventuring, Tonya stays busy navigating how umbrellas are unacceptable life choices now, giant house spiders exist but only in September, and that salted parking lots are absolutely not weird at all. Find her on Instagram  and Facebook  for all the kid-friendly places in and around Gig Harbor.