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 non-native permanent settler 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.
Advisory Member, Metro Parks Tacoma