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The Fall and Rise of the Historic Orr Home

In 1857 pioneer Nathaniel Orr built a Wagon Shop and bachelor residence in Steilacoom.

In 1868 he converted the building to a family home for his new bride.

Orr Home in Steilacoom before restoration

In 1996 the home suffered a devastating fall off its temporary supports during work on the foundation and crashed into the nearby pear tree.

In 2002 the finished restoration of the home was completed and it was open to the public once again.

In 2020, the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Association by presenting several events during the year.

David Welch, one of the principal leaders of the home’s restoration, will present a slide show and talk about the Fall and Rise of the Orr Home at 1:00 on Sunday, February 23rd. The event will take place in the lower level Education Room of the Museum at 1801 Rainier Street, Steilacoom. Guided tours of the home will follow the talk, with a focus on the rare box frame architecture and restoration techniques.

Orr Home in Steilacoom after restoration

The Orr Home, the jewel in the crown of historic properties owned, preserved and maintained by the Museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was named a Save Americas Treasure official project in1999, receiving funding and technical support from the National Park Service.

Those new to the area since the Fall, and those who were present in May of 1996 to see the crushed home which many saw as beyond repair, will both find this educational event worthwhile as part of Steilacoom history and the will of a community to bring this special home back to life.

The event is free of charge and open to the public. Contact the Museum at 253-584-4133 for additional information.

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