Day 519 - The Dalles
The Fort Dalles Historical Museum at Fifteenth and Garrison Streets (541- 296-4547) features three late-nineteenth-century log structures on the National Register–the Lewis Anderson house, barn, and granary. A Swede built the house for Anderson, a fellow Swede. This noteworthy complex of Scandinavian vernacular buildings was originally on Anderson’s homestead on Pleasant Ridge south of The Dalles, overlooking Mount Hood to the west and the rolling Columbia River plateau to the north. The museum commission serving both Wasco County and The Dalles began dismantling the structures in 1972 and moving them to the historical museum.
Made of hewn yellow-pine logs with dovetailed corners, the rectangular, 34 by 24 foot one-and-one-half-story house rested (as did the other farm buildings) on a fieldstone foundation. On the first floor were a parlor, pantry, small bedroom, kitchen, and front bedroom. Stairs led up to a sleeping area The small hip-roofed shelter for the front entry was added later. The period furnishings include a pump organ and a loom.
The 30 by 30 foot barn was on a slope at its original location; thus, it has an upper and lower level (hayloft and threshing floor above, central double row of mangers below). Builders used 50-foot hewn tamarack (evergreen) logs in 1890 for its construction. The granary was built between 1885 and 1890 at a homestead at Rock Prairie. Anderson had it dismantled and moved to his property about 1898.
Born in northern Sweden in 1862, Anderson went to sea on an English vessel at age fourteen. After he returned in 1881 to Sweden, he left almost immediately to accompany his sister and a group of settlers to the United States. Marrying in Wisconsin, Anderson next went to Minneapolis but then pushed on to Pleasant Ridge in 1885. Although he persuaded other Swedes to follow, Pleasant Ridge’s lack of water was a shortcoming few could overlook. Most would-be settlers moved on, but Anderson and his family persevered. Finally after his four children divided the land, he moved to The Dalles and worked in the construction trade.
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