Rebirth of a cabin in Little Norway

POULSBO — After two years of starts, stops and pauses, the pieces of the Martinson cabin have finally come together, literally.

Countless hours of hard work by a group of volunteers apparently paid its dividends as Bight of Poulsbo Founder Bill Austin made an important announcement to the city council’s community services committee recently.

“The Martinson cabin has been inspected and we have the final inspection and approval,” he told the committee, which had dealt with the issue since September 2003.

The cabin was built around 1890 by Mikal Martinson, who immigrated from Norway in 1882. The 40-acre homestead housed a dairy farm worked by Martinson, his son Berger Martinson and then third generation dairy farmer ,Vern Martinson.

Now that the restoration has been completed, Austin said he already has big plans for the building.

“I would like to open it up to the public by appointment only so kids can take a look and learn,” he said.

The idea would be to furbish the cabin with artifacts from the Poulsbo Historical Society to show how early settlers in the North Kitsap area lived, Austin said.

“I would like to see an old bed stand and lamp and we would have the original tools there that the old man used to make the cabin with,” he said, adding that a recently donated windmill could be placed near the cabin to add to its authentic historic feel.

“It’s completely maintenance-free and if we can do that, we will,” Austin said.

PHS President Kathy Hogan told the committee that the society has discussed the possibility of using the cabin as a historical showplace.

“We kind of like the idea of showing certain areas like Lofall, Lincoln Hill or Sandy Point for a month and rotating them around,” Hogan said.

The society would also have volunteers onsite to tell the story of each area as it is being displayed, she said.

Mayor Donna Jean Bruce said if the cabin is going to be open to the public, then someone should be responsible for scheduling events there.

“The historical society should be the coordinating agency,” said Councilman Ed Stern, noting the society’s large role in the use of the cabin.

Hogan agreed with Stern’s assessment and said if the cabin were to be used that way, the society would like to be the one handling the scheduling.

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