11853 97th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034

Meet your new neighbor: Polly Aird 

Meet your New Neighbor

Author of Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector, Polly Aird began her career as an author in the late 1980s, when her father decided to write about his mother’s experience in the Mormon church. While Polly herself is not Mormon, her penchant for writing and research led her to craft this story.

“He asked if I would edit his manuscript. I was intrigued. My grandmother’s family had converted to Mormonism in Scotland in the 1840s and came to Utah in the 1850s, a long, grueling seven-month journey. But within five years they became completely disillusioned—it was a fanatical, unsafe period among the Mormons—and they wanted out. In 1859 the family asked for the help of the U.S. Army and about 40 disillusioned families were given an escort out of Utah and half way across today’s Nevada, where they were then on the California trail with many others planning to settle there.” After reading her father’s initial writing, she became more curious about the origins of the story. “Why had this family converted to Mormonism in Scotland? What had led to their disillusionment? Did they pick up with some other belief system?” Polly left her father’s manuscript behind and took a deeper dive into researching this period.

In 2009, after 18 years of research and writing, she published, Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector: A Scottish Immigrant in the American West, 1848-1861. Along the way Polly also presented several papers at the Mormon History Association’s annual conference and was asked to join their executive board.

“While I enjoyed telling this story, I think I’m done with books, at least ones that take years of research, but who knows! The future has always held surprises, so I can’t rule out anything. Maybe there are other adventures to come!”

Onto the next chapter

And one of those adventures is moving to Parkshore Juanita Bay! Polly initially heard about the community through her best friend who grew up on Juanita Point and decided to go learn more. Having toured a few other places in the months preceding, she really didn’t intend on committing to anything.

But what do they say about the best laid plans? After visiting Parkshore Juanita Bay and reviewing with her financial advisor, she made the decision to become one of the first residents!

“I was struck with the setting—so close to Juanita Beach Park and Juanita Village. I also liked that it was only three stories tall with just 50 units. I had looked at Wesley Gardens, but it was so big! I began to think of it as an enormous cruise ship compared to the smaller ship of Parkshore Juanita Bay—much more maneuverable, able to explore the small fjords in British Columbia and Alaska!” Polly shares in a way that only an author can.

Looking toward the future

Many factors influenced Polly’s decision to make the move. “I’m looking forward to moving while I’m still young enough to enjoy the community and all of its amenities. Also excited about downsizing – dealing with fewer possessions and no responsibility for the physical upkeep of a house and garden. I see living at Parkshore Juanita Bay as a chance to make new friends, take walks, maybe write a few more papers, and just enjoy a new, more relaxed chapter in life. Also a chance to visit my children without worrying about the house.

Share the Post: