New life for 1885 Pierce County homestead cabin

On Sunday, representatives of Pioneer Farm Museum in Eatonville, Wash., held a dedication ceremony for its newly reconstructed log cabin. Pierce County Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commissioner (LHPC) Bob Peters was there to record the event. Today he shares his photographs and account with Tacoma Daily Index readers.

According to Peters, the cabin was built in 1885 by a Norwegian immigrant named Herman Anderson, and was originally located in the middle of the Ohop Valley, three miles east of Eatonville. The Anderson family lived in the small cabin for several years.

In 2003, the cabin was donated to the museum by Rick and Marsha Klumpar. The following year, it was disassembled and the logs were numbered and moved into storage at Pioneer Farm. This year, the museum, under the management of Valerie Sivertson, successfully applied for and received a Pierce County historic preservation grant totalling $15,000 to reassemble the cabin. The grant program is managed by the LHPC and provides matching money to applicants who request funding for projects best illustrating the history of Pierce County. It is funded by a surcharge on the recording of documents. Counties throughout the state are able to use the surcharge for projects related to historic preservation.

The museum retained the services of David Rogers, an Oregon-based historic preservationist who specializes in log structures.

“Pioneer Farm was originally founded by Valerie’s mother to serve as a tool for teaching history to local children and their families,” says Peters. “While we were there, a young mother brought her child and commented to the docent that she had been there as a young girl and wanted her daughter to see it. Kids can churn butter and participate in other activities pioneer children may have experienced.”

More information about the Pioneer Farm Museum is online at

The restored 1885 Anderson log cabin at Pioneer Farm Museum. (PHOTO COURTESY BOB PETERS)