Unique Island Home Then and Now

On February 12, 2019 I woke up in the morning to a unique post on Facebook from an Islander friend. The post had two photos, sort of a “Then and Now”. The photos both looked eerily alike, though the people were different. In reading the post, the story got even more interesting:

This is Alfred and Anne Johnsen in March of 1951. In 1910 they built the house we now live in. Anne designed the house and they raised their five children here, planting orchards and farming. Her sister lived next door. I know all of this because her great granddaughter contacted us after we moved in, trying to track down her family home. She shared the family history that she’s uncovered and sent this and other photos of the Johnsens and their kids. It’s a treasure trove of local history and we are so grateful to her for doing all the research and for valuing it the way that we do. I was thinking about this photo as the snow started falling and we decided to take one from the same angle looking west to the water. I think they must have loved this place as much as we do.

What a unique story, I had thought to myself. I asked Anne Gfeller Higuera if it was alright for me to share this story to those who follow our website, and Facebook page. Anne was very happy to oblige.
I have heard many stories of people who were raised on Vashon Island, several generations of residents, farmers and community members (including myself). I have met many new residents that find the magic of Vashon and want to stay around to make it their home, and this touches my heart… connecting Vashon Island homesteaders with new residents.

Jenny Mathews
Author: Jenny Mathews

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