Ohop Valley

The Cows of Kjelstad Farm

List of Cows from the Burwash milkhouse
List of Cows from the Burwash milkhouse

In 1889 a Norwegian named Henry Kjelstad settled in Ohop Valley. In 2014 the farm, which had stayed in the family was sold to the Nisqually Land Trust. When Steve Burwash was moving out, this list of cows hung in the milk house. A better list of cow names will never be collected.

Image courtesy of Diane Mettler and the Burwash family.

Click on images to enlarge.

Steve Burwash milking the cows when the barn was full
Steve Burwash milking the cows when the barn was full

Steve Burwash – Brooder house (ca. 1946 – 2014)

Steve Burwash — Pig Slaughter ca. 1945
Steve Burwash — Pig Slaughter ca. 1945

This is the Kjelstad farm back around 1946 and Steve Burwash (today 93 years old) in the middle of a pig slaughter. (Yes, you have to get your bacon somewhere.)

Behind him in the brooder house where they raised the small chicks. The second photo is the brooder house today — almost 70 years later.

Other things to note: Frank, the beloved horse, in gear for working on the farm. Also, the pipes to Steve’s left were probably used for drainage. Steve said they used pipe to help with valley flooding. You’ll find old drainage pipes like these around many of the Ohop Valley farms.

Photo courtesy of the Burwash family and Diane Mettler.

Click on image to enlarge.

Brooder House - 2014
Brooder House – 2014

Steve Burwash at Work on the Farm (ca. 1970s)

Steve Burwash milking the cows when the barn was full
Steve Burwash milking the cows when the barn was full

Here are some great shots taken of Steve Burwash working on the Burwash/Kjelstad farm around 1970.

The photos were taken by Steve’s son Martin, who also had a farm for a while in Ohop Valley. To see more of Martin’s photographs, just click HERE to link to his Rambling West site.

Photos courtesy of Martin Burwash.

Click on images to enlarge.

Steve Burwash on the tractor out in the hay field
Steve Burwash on the tractor out in the hay field

Kjelstad/Burwash Farm (ca. 1970)

Kjelstad/Burwash farm ca. 1970
Kjelstad/Burwash farm ca. 1970

A glimpse of Ohop Valley and the Burwash/Kjelstad farm around 1970. This was taken in the winter when the creek floods.

This photo was taken by Martin Burwash. If you’d like to see more of his work . . . and the farm . . . just click HERE.

The Kjelstad farm was one of the first in the valley and was continually owned by one family for over 130 years until it was recently sold to the Nisqually Land Trust. 

The hope its that the home and barn that still stand will be preserved.

Photo courtesy of Martin Burwash.

Click on image to enlarge.

 

Christensen Barrel (early 1900s)

Christensen Barrel
Christensen Barrel

This little barrel owned by Steve Burwash came from the Christensen store many years back. Steve says that when he played in a little band, his son Martin Burwash used it as a stool.

The barrel still faintly shows the Christensen name, as well as Eatonville, and Washington Street. When I asked Steve (who is now 93) what came in the barrel, he didn’t know but said, “Pickles used to come in a barrel like that.”

This barrel, I believe, will be donated to the Eatonville museum (aka the little cabin out by Mill Pond).

Christenson's General Store (later Red & White & parking lot)Steve Burwash is leaving his farm out in Ohop Valley this week. The farm is now owned by the Nisqually Land Trust. I hope they understand the historical significance of this little farm.

Photo courtesy of Diane Mettler.

Click on image to enlarge.

Steve Burwash and Matt Kjelstad getting wood (ca. 1937)

Steve Burwash and Matt Kjlestad get wood
Steve Burwash and Matt Kjlestad get wood

In the 1930s the Kjelstad farm in Ohop Valley ran on wood. It would take one very large tree to heat the main house, a smaller house and several chicken houses for a year.

This is a shot of Steve Burwash (now 92) helping Matt Kjelstad split up a big tree near their farm. Check out that saw. Steve said Matt would saw and he should split the rounds.

AND . . . this was a chore that they did between other chores on the farm.

Photo courtesy of Steve Burwash.

Click on image to enlarge.

Pete Peterson’s Children (ca. 1917)

Pete Peterson's children
Pete Peterson’s children

Meet Pete Peterson‘s children . . . and Torger Peterson’s grandchildren.

“On the top (the oldest) is Theodore Peterson. Helen Peterson is on his right and Carleton Peterson is on his left. Pearl Peterson is the girl in the center and the baby is Alice Peterson, my mother,” says Linda Lewis.

Linda says her mother was born January 20, 1917.

Pete is the son of pioneer Torger Perterson and was raised on Ohop Valley. 

Image courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on image to enlarge.

 

Kjelstad/Burwash Barn Then and Now (104 years later)

Burwash barn (originally built in 1910 by the Kjelstads)
Burwash barn (originally built in 1910 by the Kjelstads)

The Kjelstad barn in Ohop Valley was built in 1910. Today it is part of the Nisqually Land Trust and looks just as grand as the day it was built. I hope they keep it intact for the community to enjoy.

Images courtesy of the Burwash family and Diane Mettler.

Kjelstad barn - early 1900s
Kjelstad barn – early 1900s

Click on images to enlarge.

Steve Burwash Working the Fields (ca. 1944)

Steve Burwash
Steve Burwash

Here is a young and handsome Steve Burwash working the fields in Ohop Valley on the Kjelstad farm.

“My dad on the horse drawn tedder,” says his daughter Mary Burwash Chalberg. “I think the horse in the picture is old Frank, but I’m not 100 percent sure.”

Some of you may already know what a tedder is, but if not, here’s the Wikipedia definition: A tedder (also called hay tedder) is a machine used in haymaking. It is used after cutting and before windrowing, and uses moving forks to aerate or “wuffle” the hay and thus speed-up the process of hay-making.

Photo courtesy of Mary Burwash Chalberg.

Click on image to enlarge.