Tolt Historical Society members are currently moving the Tolt Historical Museum’s collection from Carnation Farms, where it has been since 2010, to a permanent location in the historic Hjertoos house at Carnation Tree Farm. The historical items had been on display, with limited hours, next to the Carnation Farms’ collection of old carriages in the former dairy barn.
According to information from HistoryLink.org and the city of Carnation, the Hjertoos Farm, which includes a prominent dairy barn and large late-Victorian farmhouse, was developed by a Norwegian family that arrived in the Snoqualmie Valley in the 1880s. When the Hjertoos family purchased the farm from the Shaw family in 1901, it included a two-story log house, a large house for boarders and a substantial orchard. In 1907 the growing family built a two-story, wood-frame farmhouse that replaced the earlier structures. Over the years, portions of the original acreage were sold or donated to various groups, including land for the IOOF Hall, the school district and Tolt River Park. About 24 acres of the original farm remain. In 1988, the elaborate two-story front porch, which had fallen into disrepair, was carefully reconstructed based on historical documentation. The barn, built as a cow barn in 1910, supports the tree farm and “The Loft,” which is available for meetings and workshops. The core of the historic farm property remains in the Hjertoos family. The farm, at 3861 Tolt Ave., is a King County Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Andrew and Bergette Hjertoos were the great-grandparents of current owner and operator Roger Thorson, who is also on the board of the historical society. “I was on the search committee to find a new place for the museum and after a few years I got desperate so I gave them my house,” he laughed. Thorson has restored the house and barn to near-original condition. A colorful history of the farm can be found on its website: carnationtreefarm.com.
Tolt Historical Society member Sharon Kerr explained that the society was able to begin moving items into the house on July 1. “We can now start deciding where things can go; it’s going to be a process. We don’t want it to be just a collection, we want to tell a story.”
The next Tolt Historical Society meeting (potluck) will be held on Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m. at the Hjertoos house. The public is invited to attend. For more information, visit tolthistoricalsociety.org.