The Job Carr Cabin Museum is a replica of Tacoma's first permanent non-Native residence. It was built in 2000, about a block away from the original site of Job’s frontier home.
Entering the Cabin, one steps back in time to see the living space much as it would have been in the late 19th-century. Docents greet you and share Old Town stories. Learn about Job and his family, as well as other people and events that shaped this historic part of Tacoma.
Visitors can learn why settlers and immigrants came here, how they lived, what industries put Tacoma on the map, and much more.
Pioneer, Adventurer and Founder of Tacoma
Job Carr, the first citizen of Tacoma, was born in Gloucester County, New Jersey, on July 2, 1813. As a young man, he moved to Indiana, where he met and married Rebecca Pittman. They had four children: Anthony, Howard, Maggie, and Marietta.
When the Civil War began, Carr’s strongly- held abolitionist sentiments triumphed over both his pacifist Quaker religion and his forty-seven years, and he joined the Union Army, along with both his sons. He was wounded twice, the second time seriously, and his wife brought him home to Indiana to recover. He had served almost three years.
After his recovery he moved to Iowa, where he bought a fruit tree nursery, but his wife refused to come with him. They later divorced.
When Job heard that the government had authorized construction of a railroad to the Pacific Northwest, he decided to seek his fortune on the shores of Puget Sound. He sold his nursery, bought a team of oxen, and aimed his wagon west. He arrived in Olympia, Washington, in late 1864. He was fifty-one years old.
One of Job’s favorite stories was about how he found the land he chose to claim on Christmas Day. He and several companions went fishing near Gig Harbor, paddling their canoe along the shoreline of Commencement Bay upon their return. Seeing a portion of land that was gently-sloped with low-bank waterfront access, Carr stood up in the canoe and shouted “Eureka! Eureka!” He knew he’d found his new home.
Job claimed 168 acres on the gamble that the railroad would choose to locate its terminus there. He began construction of a log cabin, meanwhile living under a shelter of cedar bark with his yellow cat, Tom.
Our Executive Director is retiring at the end of 2017. Congratulations Mary!
We are currently accepting applications to fill this part-time position.
The Executive Director is responsible for general administration of the Museum, including an emphasis on fund development, under the direction of the Board of Directors. The Director is responsible for curating museum exhibits, managing the annual budget, and supervising the Program Manager.
Download the job description and application information here.
Review of applicant materials will begin Sep. 11, 2017.
See our Strategic Plan here.
Board of Directors
We are led by a dedicated Board!
Job Carr Cabin Museum was founded by Karen Poole & Phillis Olson. Fundraising efforts began in 1995. The doors opened on December 5, 2000. When the Cabin opened, the organization was completely debt-free.
We remain debt-free today.
Pictures tell a thousand words!
Take a step back in time at Job Carr Cabin Museum to the mid 1800s.
Visit us and see for yourself how the pioneers lived over 150 years ago.
Bring your family for a picnic and have fun on the playground
in Old Town Park.
Find a schedule of activities and events on our
In 2014-15, we celebrated 150 years since Job Carr's "Eureka!" moment, when he decided to stake his claim on the site that became "Tacoma City" and built a cabin on the shores of Commencement Bay.
Read about the historic moment and Job, the man, in this News Tribune article.
Whereas Job Carr was the first non-native settler to build a permanent residence on the shores of Commencement Bay, travelling 3,000 miles on the Oregon Trail to settle in Puget Sound 150 years ago because he believed there was opportunity here;
Whereas, Job Carr comprehended not only the beauty of Tacoma, but also its potential as a port city…
Whereas, Job Carr was recognized by the early settlers of Tacoma as a civic leader, and became Tacoma’s first Mayor, Postmaster, Notary Public and Justice of the Peace…
Whereas, Job Carr originally claimed 168 acres of land that now consists of Old Town Tacoma and the North Slope, and set an example of generosity and hospitality to be admired and emulated, by welcoming any and all visitors to his home…
Whereas, Job Carr remained a staunch Tacoma booster – even when the Northern Pacific Railroad terminus was placed 2.5 miles south of Tacoma City – continuing to sing Tacoma’s praises to any who would listen until his death in 1887…
Whereas, Tacoma’s community leaders have preserved the memory of Job Carr and his accomplishments throughout several generations, and Job Carr’s story still inspires Tacoma’s third and fourth grade students; and
Whereas, Tacoma has become the world-class port that Job envisioned, and the beauty of our city still inspires new residents to find opportunity here;
Now, Therefore, I, Marilyn Strickland, Mayor of the City of Tacoma, on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proclaim November 1, 2014 as “Job Carr Day.”