About the Log Cabin
The cabin is located on its original site, one of the original two of Sidney town plots that measure 60 feet in width fronting on Sidney, by 150 feet deep extending to the west. An additional lot of similar size, adjacent to the south of the cabin, was donated to the organization by Gerry Howe Bruckart. The lot was given to her in 1941, by her mother, Martha Tohl Howe, with the stipulation that it not be developed so as to always retain the canyon's natural beauty. The SMAA organization is obligated to honor this request. These two lots form the park-like view to the south and west of the cabin that you see from the kitchen windows.
The cabin was built by Allen Bartow in 1914. Bartow, a Civil War veteran, newspaper man, and retired Indian agent for the Suquamish reservation, built the cabin for his wife Louise. All her life she had wished to live in a log cabin, but due to Allen's transient type of employment, had been unable to do so until his retirement. The Bartows lived in the cabin until 1922 when due to failing health, they both moved into the Washington State Veterans Home in Retsil. Their son and daughter-in-law, Henry and Edith Bartow, resided in the cabin until its sale in 1931.
Over the years the cabin went through a succession of owners, one of who was former Kitsap County Treasurer Maxine Johnson and her husband Roy. The cabin, in disrepair and having sat vacant since the early 1960s, was condemned by the city in 1970. It was scheduled to be burned by the local volunteer fire department. The historic landmark was saved from imminent destruction in 1971 when the Sidney Museum and Arts Association purchased the cabin from Neida Chandler Wilson. SMAA volunteers Herman Nelson, Bud Eischens and many others spent considerable time shoring up the cabin, putting a sound foundation under it, and rebuilding the fireplace to preserve the cabin for future generations to enjoy. Many local organizations and people contributed financial support to help restore the log cabin.
The two story, one bedroom cabin was constructed from "log boom" logs pulled up Sidney hill from Port Orchard bay by oxen and draft horses. Part of the original foundation was a large cedar stump upon which the northwest corner of the building sat. (The stump eventually rotted away, letting the corner of the cabin settle). Initially, the interior walls consisted of the exposed logs which had been stained and varnished. The cedar tongue and groove paneling you see today was installed in approximately 1925. Also, as originally built the cabin had a large covered back porch with a small enclosed kitchen on the south end. The current door to the kitchen area was the egress to the porch and from there one entered the small kitchen by another door. This arrangement keeps the dirt and heat from the wood and coal burning stoves out of the rest of the cabin. It also provided a covered cool place for food stocks and dry wood and coal for the cook stove. The opening in the wall by the stove was the pass-through from the kitchen to the dining area of the cabin.
Shortly after the cabin was built a one bedroom apartment was added to the basement which was then used as a rental unit. Well known lifelong Kitsap residents Ralph and Theda Peterson made their first home there in 1925. The apartment was deleted when the cabin basement was extensively restructured to keep the log cabin from sliding down the hill.
In front, the moss roses growing today are from stock planted by Lousie Bartow in 1914. An early picture postcard she had made of the log cabin is captioned, "The Rose Den Cabin." The flag pole is a replica of one that was originally built into the cabin by Allen Bartow, the pole had been removed sometime in the past and was reintroduced by SMAA volunteer Bud Eischen.