I have a bit of an affinity for historic places, museums, and walking tours thanks to family outings as a child and treasures like Fort Langley. On a recent media trip to Whatcom County in Washington State one of our stops was at Pioneer Park in Ferndale, home to a collection of eleven pioneer log cabins.
Pioneer Park was created from 4 acres of uncut Western Red Cedar trees purchased by the Whatcom Old Settlers Association in 1901 for the purpose of holding its annual pioneer picnic, a continuing tradition that is today considered one of the oldest celebrations of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. In 1925, a dance hall building and a headquarters building were constructed at the entrance to the park. [Ferndale Heritage Society]
With an interest in preserving local pioneer history, the Old Settlers Association has gradually moved abandoned pioneer structures to the park beginning in 1935. The slab cedar houses at Pioneer Park, built in the late 1800s, have all been relocated here from their original sites of construction at various locations around Whatcom County. Today these preserved cabins are the most important assemblage of this distinctive regional style of rustic pioneer architecture. [Ferndale Heritage Society]
Sitting along the Nooksack River the cabins have been strategically placed to form a village of sorts, including a Post Office, General Store, School House, homes, and more. Greeted by costumed guides, visitors can get a glimpse at pioneer life (tours are just $5 for adults, $3 for kids) and enjoy special heritage-themed events throughout the year.
Pioneer Park is located in Ferndale, Washington just off exit 262 of the I-5 highway and across the river from the Hovander Homestead. It’s only about one hour from Vancouver and just 15-20 minutes from the border crossing.
Follow @CityofFerndale or @WhatcomCounty on Twitter for more information about Pioneer Park and other parks in the region. Read more about Whatcom Country parks and attractions by following my tag: Whatcom.