Pilchuck Town’s History

Visit our history pedestals scattered throughout the Freeborn Reserve campus.

Reserve Campus Introduction
Freeborn Missions in Haiti
Freeborn Cemetery
Children’s Park
Jewish Homestead
Gardens Introduction
Downstream Waste Site
When the State is Wrong
Living History Farm Introduction
Pilchuck Glass School Centerpieces
Reserves Historical Buildings
Reserves Restored Norse House
Native American Midden
John Hauberg’s Dreams

2 miles to the east of the Reserve is the site of the ghost town of Pilchuck.  The ~1912 picture below shows no auto;  citizens walked or rode wagons and horses to attend Freeborn Church (where only Dano-Norwegian was spoken).   Midwestern loggers, a few settled in this area after a hillside slide closed the town’s railway access.TownPilchuckOnly Spring daffodils remain of where some of the town’s cabins stood.

The portion of  the Gardens owned by Freeborn Church will hopefully someday exhibit three 50′ circumference Cedar and the Lake McMurray Fir stumps (also but 2 miles away).

.AncientForestMap   McMurrayFir

The trees these mills consumed were enormous! A look at Stanwood from Google Maps today shows you where Pilchuck and (west fork of) Freeborn Church Creeks’ waters  have taken this area’s topsoil, contributions joining other logging runoff from along the Stillaguamish River now forever clogging the deep seawater port of Stanwood.


We have done all this in just 150 years and wonder “what the next 150 years will bring?”  For 100x this 150 years = 15,000 years, humans walked this earth and left not a scar.  We don’t have to log steep slopes, we don’t have to wash all our topsoil to the sea.  Yet with our clear cutting practices of today, we continue to do so.

Our ancestors who came to this County, drank cold, clear, fresh water and breathed clean air.  It must have seemed to be a bit like Heaven.  Christians might ask a hard question regarding restored bodies as called for in the 341 AD Apostles’ Creed because human bodies need air and water.  “Will God allow the elimination and destruction of all Heaven’s native plants?  Will we be allowed to treat Heaven as we do Earth?” 

Heaven is God’s Garden, Earth is ours.