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    Job Carr Cabin Museum

    Our Mission

    Through diverse perspectives and interactive experiences, the Museum uses Job Carr’s story to open the door to Tacoma’s history for students and our community.


    Job Carr Cabin Museum is housed in a replica of Tacoma's first permanent non-Native residence, on land that traditionally belonged to the Puyallup people. It was built in 2000, near the original site of Carr’s frontier home.


    With our interactive living history museum and programming, we educate students and visitors about the people, industries, and events that shaped our neighborhood – and Tacoma as a whole. We aim to portray an accurate account of Tacoma’s non-Native settlement's history and its effects.

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    Who was Job Carr?

    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 Pitman. 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.

  • Puget Sound Timeline

    What was happening in the Puget Sound region before Job Carr travelled west?

    Since Time Immemorial

    The Puyallup Tribe of Indians have lived along the shores of the Puget Sound, near the Puyallup River, and in the foothills of Mt. Tacoma (Rainier) for thousands of years.


    British Captain George Vancouver explores thePacific, naming Puget Sound and Mt Rainier.


    The Hudson’s Bay Company establishes the first non-Native settlement on Puget Sound. Fort Nisqually was located in the city that we now call DuPont.


    U.S. Lieutenant Charles Wilkes explores the westcoast of North America, naming Commencement Bay.


    The Simmons and Bush families are the first American settlers in Puget Sound. They build homes in the area that we now call Tumwater.


    Edmund Sylvester dedicates the town of Olympia.


    Captain Lafayette Balch establishes the town ofSteilacoom, building a store, hotel and wharf. The Denny family arrives on Puget Sound and soon starts the city of Seattle.

    April 1852

    Nicolas Delin builds a water-powered sawmill atthe head of Commencement Bay, near the location of today’s Tacoma Dome.

    March 1853

    President Franklin Pierce appoints Isaac Stevensas the first governor of Washington Territory.

    October 1853

    The Longmire party crosses the Oregon Trail with the Judson family. Peter Judson stakes a land claim on Commencement Bay (on land we now call Downtown Tacoma) and begins farming oats and wheat.

    November 1853

    Governor Isaac Stevens selects Olympia as the capitol city of Washington Territory.

    December 1854

    Governor Isaac Stevens pushes Western WashingtonTribes, including the Puyallup people, to sign the Treaty of Medicine Creek. The treaty creates three small reservations for all of the tribes to share.

    Fall 1855

    Dissatisfied with the Medicine Creek Treaty, Native Americans refuse to move to the reservations and attack settlers in the Puget Sound region. Nicholas Delin and the Judson family abandon their houses on Commencement Bay.


    The Treaty Wars end with renegotiation of the Medicine Creek Treaty. The Puyallup Reservation is assigned 18,062 acres, but much of the land is later taken away from the tribe. The treaty also preserves the Puyallup tribe’s permanent right to hunt and fish in their traditional areas.

  • Cabin Leaders

    We are led by a dedicated Board

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    Dana Peregrine


    Erin O'Donnell


    Dan Beasley





    Jason Allen

    Tyler Carr

    Andrea Welsh

    Rick Carr

    Honorary/Advisory Member

    Karen Poole

    Honorary Member


    Christopher Uebelhor

    Executive Director

    Holly Stewart

    Program Manager

    Kristin Luippold

    Volunteer & Visitor Services Coordinator