Portland State University. Department of Anthropology
Thomas M. Newman
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology
1 online resource (65 pages)
Horace Baker Log Cabin
Baker Cabin, a pioneer log structure, is located on privately owned property near the community of Carver, Oregon. According to traditional accounts the cabin has existed continuously on this site since its construction in 1856. Archaeological excavations of the cabin's foundation and the surrounding area uncovered date-able artifacts and a second foundation with an associated well. Analysis of the artifacts associated with the present cabin foundation indicate a post-1870 construction date those associated with the second foundation and its well indicate an 1850’s occupation.
Four hypotheses that are explored in this paper can be derived from the interpretation of all available data:
- Baker Cabin was constructed in 1856 at a presently undiscovered site on the claim but was moved to its present location about 1870.
- Baker Cabin was constructed in 1856 on the precise spot that it now stands but reconstruction by the Old Timers' Association involved a complete rebuilding of the foundation.
- Baker Cabin was constructed in 1856 on the present foundation but extensive repairs were done on the foundation in the 1870's. The old foundation represents a smaller cabin occupied from the late 1840's until 1856.
- The old foundation with its associated well represents the original construction am habitation of the site. The present cabin is not the original 1856 cabin referred to in tradition but is rather a cabin constructed about 1870.
Data used in this research include excavated materials, informant interviews, and historical documents. The excavated materials consist of glass and pottery sherds, buttons, cartridges, and toys. Informants interviewed are Baker descendants, and they provided recollections, documents, and pictures. Historical documents used included census and tax assessment records, newspapers, Donation Land Claim material, and family ledgers.
Results of this research reveal that the authentic history of Baker Cabin will not be known unless further evidence becomes available. The first two hypotheses would seem to have no validity, however, the third and fourth hypotheses can be supported by the available data.
Woodward, V. Claire, "The Ethnohistory of Baker Cabin, a Clackamas County Pioneer Site" (1975). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2523.