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Turn-of-century Knutsen farmhouse still stands
by JUDY STIPE
For the Sequim Gazette
The Knutsen farmhouse, built around the turn of the century, appears as the fog lifts on the Old Olympic Highway. Agnes Knutsen, born in 1913 in the United States to Norwegian parents, was raised there by her aunt and two uncles on a 66-acre farm.
Knutsen, a teacher for nearly five decades, began her career at the Sequim Elementary School and was remembered for her kindness.
The home is said to be one of the houses ordered through the Sears-Roebuck catalog and was assembled on the property that the family paid an astounding price of $2 an acre.
In 1942, a new home was built only a few hundred feet west and the old place was rented out. In the late 1950s, Harry and Lena Reed with children Harry, Stanley, Ann and Janet moved in and the elder Reeds stayed until the end of their lives.
The rent stayed the same through the years and the families remained close friends until Knutsen’s death in 1991.
Conn and Virginia O’Neil, now owners of the home, plan to leave the local landmark standing as a tribute to the historical farms and pioneers of the area.
Although little has been done to restore the structure, Conn O’Neil says, it still rests on its original wood foundation, “old-grown cedar” — the strongest building foundation of that time.