Our Yesterday House

 © Photographed June 18, 2015
Erected by German Settlement History, Inc.
Ogema, Price County, Wisconsin
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Our Yesterday House
A symbol of unity and life
Immigrating to America meant abandoning many possessions . . . along with a way of life. Homesteading families from northern Europe, however, found that the resources here were similar to their homelands. Traditions, such as techniques for constructing this Albin Johnson log home, were passed on to the next generation.
The Albin Johnson Log Home is located on northbound South German Settlement Road, just south of its intersection with County Road Yy, Ogema, Wisconsin 54459.

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory
Historic Name: Albin Johnson Log House
Other Name: Our Yesterday House
Reference Number: 18988
Year Built: 1885
Architectural Style: Side Gabled
National/State Register Listing Name: Johnson, Albin, Log House
National Register Listing Date: 1978-01-20
State Register Listing Date: 1989-01-01

Additional Information:
In 1878, Swedish immigrants arrived in this white pine forest, hoping to settle along the Spirit River. Discovering Germans already there, the Swedes fanned out along the tributaries, including Johnson Creek. Swedish craftsman Amandus Johnson built this one-and-one-half-story, side-gabled house for Albin Johnson, using pine, tamarack, and hemlock. Its log construction features flat-hewn sides and coved bottoms, fit and pegged together to form walls connected with half-dovetail notches. One-inch holes appear at intervals along the logs where Amandus placed pegs that formed his scaffold while he built the structure. When he finished, he plugged the holes with wood. Finally, he cut two doorways into the main facade, each of which leads to its own room. Divided by a fireplace, these two equal-sized rooms fill the ground floor. Originally a ladder led to the sleeping loft upstairs; now a steep staircase provides access.

The Johnson Cabin stood on a farmstead about one and one-half miles to the northwest. It was moved to this site in 1969, to save it from demolition.
The foregoing content used with gracious permission of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Skillful Construction
Amandus Johnson used the Swedish log construction technique to build this house in 1885, which required great skill. It was the same method that Swedish shipbuilders employed to make watertight vessels.
Each log was expertly carved with a unique convex top and concave bottom, creating a tight fit with the log above and blow.
The logs are notched where they overlap at the corners with full dovetail joints. These lock each row in place.
Each log may have been removed and put in place as many as six times before it was a perfect fit.
A Diverse Place
The Town of Spirit was a place of cultural diversity. Aside from being a German Settlement, it had a Swedish built house and Norwegian neighbors. Together, residents mourned the hard times and celebrated the good.
"Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief." - Old Swedish Proverb
This cabin was built for Albin Johnson
and his family in 1185. Shown above is
Albin, his wife Hilma, and his son Art

Lovely lupines . . .

Pieces of turn-of-the-century newspaper that once served as insulation.

The Albin Johnson Log Cabin is listed on the

Lots of cool things to photograph at this location!

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