Beneath its serene air Idyllic Woodside Estate has its roots in fierce ambition and success. In 1924, the creative Californian shipping magnate, Captain William Matson, and his wife Lillie Low purchased the property as a summer home for their family. Matson, founder of Matson Navigation Company in 1882, went on to initiate a number of ingenious precedents: the first ship with electricity, first ship with cold storage, first with a radio, and first powered by steam. Currently, Matson Navigation Company is a prominent leader in Pacific shipping.
Though the Matsons purchased the estate as a place to relax, its verdant pastures were wonderfully suited to the equestrian goals of the Matsons' married daughter, Lurline Matson Roth. She commissioned a 21-stall barn, stately carriage house, and artistic octagonal-shaped pony barn. The facilities were renowned as an outstanding horse breeding and training facility for champion American Saddlebred and Hackney horses, as well as popular, delightfully high-stepping Hackney ponies. Mrs. Roth's magnificent American Saddlebred mare, Sweetheart on Parade, was the Five-Gaited World's Grand Champion in 1931 and 1932, and her Saddlebred stallion, Chief of Longview, was considered to be the greatest show horse of all time.