The “New” Messenger House is a Significant Upgrade

“They’ve done an amazing job here,” said Steve Johnson, peering down a hallway of the newly renovated Fieldstone Memory Care facility in Rolling Bay.

A 50 year resident of Bainbridge Island, Johnson recalls his mother-in-law spending several “quality years” at the end of her life at the former Messenger House that was purchased by Fieldstone last year and totally rehabbed into a beautifully-appointed new facility.

Johnson and an estimated 150 other people toured the Fieldstone site at a community open house a week or so ago and got a first-hand glimpse at the 35 or so memory care rooms, the dinning hall, the outside courtyard and the facility’s other amenities.

Historic photos of Messenger House and the adjacent Moran School for Boys – that once occupied part of the site – lined the entry way and walls of the building, along with beautiful photos of Bainbridge Island and Olympic National Park.

People got to sample some tasty treats from Fieldstone’s on-site chef and listen to the a cappella singing group, Agate Pass Threshold Choir.

Co-founders Doug Ellison and Justin Younker greeted visitors and shared stories about how and why Fieldstone Communities got started. The company is based in Yakima, WA and has 15 facilities around the Pacific Northwest, including Bainbridge Island and Silverdale.

“We hire super good people that are smarter than us and we partner with the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Ellison, whose family’s own struggles with dementia prompted his decision to found Fieldstone. “We do a life story for patients that move in,” he explained. “Do they like music, do they like baseball. Because of Covid-19, we now have couples moving in together.”

The Bainbridge facility – the only one the company has rebuilt due to its historic ties – is gearing up to accept Alzheimer’s and dementia patients by the end of August for its 35 unit Memory Care wing.

Under Fieldstone’s patient plan, potential Memory Care residents pay a one-time “community fee” of $5,000 and a monthly rent of $7,950 for a private room and $5,150 for a shared room.

The company, which is investing $33 million on its Bainbridge property – is hoping to get city permits within the next 10 months to begin construction of its roughly 46 assisted living and independent living apartments. Ellison is hoping that phase of the project will be completed by 2023.

For more information on Fieldstone Memory Care and Fieldstone Communities, visit

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