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Preservation adds longevity, accessibility to historic cabin
OLYMPIA – Sept. 21, 2017 – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to celebrate the restoration of the Jackson House State Park Heritage Site.The dedication ceremony will take place from 2 to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6, at the Jackson House, 4277 Jackson Highway, Chehalis. (Directions)The event commemorates the recent restoration of the historically significant cabin and the addition of modern features that allow people of all abilities to visit the site.The keynote speaker will be former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro. After the formal dedication, State Parks interpretive staff will showcase historic photos and artifacts and offer interpretive tours of the Jackson House and nearby Lewis and Clark State Park. Refreshments will be served.Early this past summer, Washington State Parks made critical improvements to the Jackson Home site, one of the oldest and most historically important state parks in Washington. In 2017, the agency restored the cabin’s front porch, replaced its roof, replaced rotten logs, repaired water damage behind the chimney and reconstructed a fence built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).In completing the restoration, Washington State Parks used the same species of wood and the same building techniques employed in the original structure, built in 1915, and all salvageable logs were repaired.State Parks also installed three new interpretive panels at the site and added a re-graded parking lot, an asphalt path to the fence line and an ADA-accessible paved path to the porch. In adding the paved pathway, State Parks followed Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation standards: the modern features must be reversible.The site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is named for early settlers John R. and Matilda Jackson. Jackson served as sheriff and probate judge after he built the original cabin near current-day Chehalis in 1850. The Jacksons opened their home to travelers, and the house became a social and civic hub, a post office, a supply store, a hotel and a U.S. District Courthouse. Jackson also served on the Cowlitz and Monticello Conventions, which led to the creation of Washington Territory in 1853.After Jackson’s death, the home fell into disrepair, but it was reconstructed in 1915 by his granddaughter Anna Koontz and the St. Helens Club of Chehalis, a local women’s club that is still active today. The property became a state park the same year.The CCC repaired the cabin in 1934, and the house underwent multiple restorations later in the 20th Century. The recent project, funded by Washington State Parks’ 2015-17 capital budget, cost $216,000.
For more information and further history of the Jackson House, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/1060/Jackson-House
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
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Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission1111 Israel Road S.W.P.O. Box 42650Olympia, WA 98504-2650Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388