Fox Island Museum, 2011
The Fox Island
1017 Ninth Avenue, Fox Island, WA
Hours of Operation
|Admission $1.00 - Current Members free|
|Wednesdays, Saturdays &
Sundays: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM|
|Group Tours: Karen Kretschmer at
253-514-5884 for information||
What to see at the Museum
|Dioramas of early life on Fox Island|
|Pacific Northwest Indian Artifacts|
|Largest Collection of Pulley Blocks in Washington|
|Acheson Log Cabin|
|Library & Archives|
About The Fox Island Museum & Historical Society
Fox Island Museum, 2004
The mission of the Fox Island Historical Society is to
enrich the greater community through the discovery, preservation, and
sharing of knowledge about the history of Fox Island.
There are dioramas, rotating exhibits, displays
representing individuals, Native American tribal history, and agricultural
machinery. In addition, please visit the research room, museum store, and a
large selection of used books for purchase. We also have the Acheson log
cabin, built in 1908, open for tours.
Among them is a display describing the life of Dr. Dixy
Lee Ray, former Washington State Governor, the largest collection of pulley
blocks in the State, artifacts from the old Fox Island Ferry "City of
Steilacoom", and several antique gasoline engines and farm equipment pieces
in working order.
The Fox Island Historical Society held its first meeting
on February 22, 1897, and as of 2014 has held a President's Day potluck
every year since, for over 118 consecutive years. The potluck is held
at the Sylvan Chapel because of the historical significance of having been
started there. For many years the museum's artifacts were held in private
homes and the chapel.
The original Fox Island Museum started in the late
1800's at the Sylvan Chapel, on Echo Bay.
The Historical Society was reactivated in 1959 and opened
the first Museum in the Nichols Community Center
in 1959, using one of the school rooms for it's exhibit and holding space.
1923 - 2002
This phase of the museum's history was organized and kept
going by Cecil Fassett, who was the father of Lois Miller, wife of island
historian George Miller. Cecil died in 1973 and before he died, George
promised him that he would carry on the work that Cecil began. Cecil
was instrumental in finding most of the Island related exhibits seen
In 1979; George and Lois Miller bought the property on the
corner of Ninth and Kamus for the proposed location of the Museum. The fire
department at that time was looking to move their location to more central
area on high ground. They acquired the lot where the museum now
stands; and with a swap of the Miller property for theirs, the current
museum site was born. It was moved from the garage next to the Nichols
Center (the old Fire Station) to its present location.
The present Museum building opened in 1980. The
construction of the new Museum started with many donations from Fox Island
residents. Most of them solicited through the great arm twisting of
George Miller and many other generous Islanders such as Lila Acheson Wallace
of Readers Digest fame.
Subsequent expansion projects culminated in 2001 with the
completion of the north wing, which was built from prefabricated wood and
foam panels. See photos of this project below.
Achison Cabin - 2011 Totem Pole and the Acheson Cabin
||T-Shirts are available for sale at the Museum during normal
2001 Museum Addition
||The Fox Island Historical Society held it's official
"Barn Raising" on Saturday, October 20, 2001.
Volunteers Jack MacDuff, Todd Drumm, Jeff Feagin, Vern
Schuelein, and Bob Johnson, lift the first wall section into place.
|Vern Schuelein, Yukichi Uesato, and Jeff Feagin work
on a wall section as John Ohlson looks on from the scaffolding.
||The new addition is taking shape, after a hard day of
The wall sections are made of foam sheets, sandwiched between OSB
Jeff Feagin, Todd Drumm and Hannah Jay inspect the progress
The Fox Island Historical Society would like to thank the following
people who came to help "Raise The Barn" on Saturday, October 20,
George Miller, Dave McHugh, Jeff Feagin, Hank Henry, Tom Lockett, John Ohlson,
Gary Gruman, Herm Botnen, Bob Johnson, Roger Parker, Jim Harms, Vern Schuelein,
Jack MacDuff, Jeff Schuelein, Lois Miller, Lise' Ohlson, Nan Feagin, Hannah Jay,
Jeff Stroud, Mountain Construction, Gary Crowell, Bob Beavin, Skip Post, Charles
Thanks to Todd Drumm and Larry Lippert from Premier
Building Systems, Larry Booth and Yukichi Uesato.
The Fox Island Historical Society is building a new addition to the existing
building. An activity area for children is
planned. The present Museum building opened in 1980 after many years in
one room of the old School Building (Nichols Community Center). The amount
needed for the project is $90,000.00. The addition will be
approximately 30' x 40'. All of the work will be volunteer labor.
Everyone who donates will receive a green and white bumper
sticker that says: "We Helped Build The Fox Island Museum". You
can post this sticker proudly on your vehicle, your mailbox, your forehead,
anywhere! You may also contact the Museum by telephone 253-549-2239. The Museum can use your help!
Famous Authors From Fox Island
Did you know that we have four famous authors from our beautiful Island?
Our museum curator, the late George Miller,
wrote a book entitled: "Fox
Island, A History". This book was published in 1993 by the Fox Island Historical
Society and is available for sale in the Fox Island Museum.
Alexis Macdonald wrote a book entitled: "Fox Island - It's
History and Development", which was published on July 20, 1966 by J & J Press,
Fox Island. This book can be found in the Pierce County Library. As a child, Alexis
attended the Island School (now the Nichols Community Center). She is now a teacher in
Caroline Perisho wrote a book entitled: "Fox Island - Pioneer
Life on Southern Puget Sound", published in 1990 by Echo Bay Press. This book is also
available from the Pierce County Library.
Don Edgers wrote two books about growing up
in the 40's and 50's on Fox Island: |
Island In Time: Growing up in the 1940s", and An
Island In Time: Coming of Age in the 1950s
All four books make for fascinating reading if you are interested in the colorful
history of Fox Island.
Fox Island Historical Society
PO Box 242; Fox Island, WA 98333
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