The Anderson Island Historical Society will host its traditional Salmon Bake at the Johnson Farm Saturday, July 2, from Noon to 3 PM. The meal includes wild salmon or ribs cooked on the outdoor grill, corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, beans, garlic bread, beverage, and strawberry shortcake. Jeanne McGoldrick, Coordinator of Events, said, “These are the same prices we charged 7 years ago, despite skyrocketing prices for corn and salmon, due to donations from local businesses and several sponsors.”
- Adults – $16
- Seniors – $13
- Youth 12 years and under – $8
- Hot dog meal – $5
Salmon Bake tickets can be purchased at the Island General Store, Museum Gift Shop, or at the door the day of the event.
For information on ferry times and fares, please see www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/pwu/ferry/ridetheferry.htm
John Oscar Johnson and Alma Marie Boman, both Finnish immigrants, were married in Tacoma in 1891. The Johnson Farm was established in 1896, with their purchase of forty acres of land. John and Alma Marie had only $50, but were encouraged by the seller (Bengt Johnson, no relation) to buy lumber with their $50 and work out the price of the land by cutting wood for his wood yard. The first house on the Johnson farm was a two-room cabin built by John Oscar and Alma Marie, working side by side. Water was brought up by means of a ram pump. In 1916, John Oscar with the help of teen-aged son, Oscar, constructed a large pole and hand-split shake barn from Island trees, which is now on the State Heritage Register.
When Alma Marie died in 1907, their eldest daughter, Alida, then 14, was obliged to drop out of school for awhile in order to run the household and care for her brother Rudy, who was only 4 years old at the time. Alida eventually got her nursing degree at Tacoma General Hospital. The farm remained a working farm until 1975, when Rudy died. Alma Ruth Laing, the only grandchild of John and Alma Marie, deeded the six acres which contained the farm buildings to the historical society that same year. Thirty-five years later, an all-volunteer work force continues to make the property available to the public with no admission charge.
The Salmon Bake is the main fund-raiser for the historical society, a 501(c)(3) organization. Volunteers have restored and continue to maintain fifteen historical buildings on the current 28-acres (John and Karen Parks gave an additional 22 acres of the original farm land to the society in 1991). McGoldrick added, “Funds raised at the Salmon Bake, Apple Squeeze, and other events help pay for parts needed for repairs, routine maintenance, utilities, and supplies.”
For more information about the Johnson Farm and the historical society, please see www.andersonislandhs.org.