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  • 1880 (Creation)


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ca. 1880. Nathaniel Orr's Wagon Shop. Nathaniel Orr was a pioneer wagon maker who had journeyed from Virginia in 1850 to eventually make his home and business in Steilacoom. The photograph of the Wagon Shop at 1811 Rainier St. is undated but perhaps taken in the 1880's. The man standing in the doorway is possibly Nathaniel Orr. The building appears to be a bit lopsided as blocks seem to be placed underneath to make it level. Information received from a reader indicates that Orr had built the house with chimney visible on the right of this photograph as a wagon shop in 1853-4 and built/repaired wagons on its bottom floor (accessible from what is now Rainier St.) When Orr wed in 1868, his wife convinced him to build his wagons somewhere other than in her home and thus this large Wagon Shop was constructed. Besides building wagons, he turned his hand to making necessities such as beds, tables, chairs, spinning wheels and even coffins. He also started a commercial orchard in town. Nathaniel Orr died in 1896 at the age of 69; his home and orchard would later be sold to the Steilacoom Historical Museum Assn. and be placed on the State and National Registry. The Wagon Shop operates as a living museum and has kept its original appearance. Photograph ordered by the Town of Steilacoom. (Town on the Sound, p. 32-36)

Houses--Steilacoom; Orr, Nathaniel--Homes & haunts;

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