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Step inside a unique log home by legendary Steiner family craftsmen in Southwest Portland

The legendary Fogelbo Log Home in southwest Portland, built by the Steiner family of craftsmen and stonemasons during the Great Depression, will be open for fall tours Oct. 7-8.

Visitors will experience the cabin-style home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and discover one of the largest private collections of Norse antiques and folk art in the United States.

Tickets ($30, $10 for children) are limited and only 12 people will be in each of the six tour groups.

Longtime owner and collector Ross Fogelquist donated the home that bears his family’s name – “Fogelbo” translates to “bird’s nest” in Swedish – and two acres in 2014 to Nordic Northwest, a non-profit organization focused on people from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden who helped create the Pacific Northwest.

During tours, Fogelquist and the docents will point out traditional cottage features of the house, such as railings covered in red iron oxide paint and window shutters with a tree cutout in the center.

The art of building a log home in the United States followed the first Swedish settlers in 1638 to the colonies of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Fogelbo was built of Douglas fir, cedar and stone in a wooded patch in the Garden Home neighborhood between 1938 and 1940 by Henry Steiner, an enterprising carpenter who worked on the project with the eldest of his 13 children, John Steiner .

The two men also helped build the 1936 Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.

Those familiar with the cabins Steiner built on Mount Hood will recognize Fogelbo’s chimney made of basalt, the windows that close with peg latches, and the one-inch oak plank floors. A bent branch was used to create a handrail for the staircase, and flat stair treads were made from logs sawn in half.

The resourceful Steiner family also used the wood they harvested from the forest to make cabinets, bookcases, and furniture using Old World hand tools and woodworking techniques.

“Fogelbo reflects the best of [Henry] Steiner’s portfolio and remains a significant example of rustic Oregon architecture,” according to the National Register.

Unlike the smaller, simpler Steiner Mountain Cabins seen on the annual Mount Hood Steiner Cabins Tour, the 2,000 square foot Fogelbo House was designed for year-round living.

Fogelquist, 83, said his home was like no other because of the beauty of the craftsmanship, the warmth of the wood and the different techniques Henry Steiner used to make natural materials so that everything fit together.

“Everything ages and mellows over time, and the wood gives off a warmth,” Fogelquist said. “My log home matches my passion for collecting Scandinavian antiques and artifacts.”

Fogelquist, whose grandparents emigrated from Mora to Dalarna, Sweden, is a retired teacher and former honorary Swedish vice consul to Oregon who was knighted by the Swedish king for his civic contributions.

He founded many Portland clubs, organizations, and societies, and his Southwest Portland property has hosted hundreds of Scandinavian, German, and Austrian celebrations and cultural events.

Nordic Northwest, which runs Fogelbo tours, built its cultural center, Nordia House, on land adjacent to the Fogelbo property.

If you are going to: The Nordic Northwest campus is located at 8800 SW Oleson Road in Portland. One-hour tours on October 7 and 8 begin at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Registration is required at nordicnorthwest.org/fogelbo-tours.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for Nordic Northwest members, $10 for children 12 and under, and $5 for Oregon Trail cardholders and Portland Arts for All participants. .

Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation or ride-sharing services. Nordia House’s 50-space parking lot is open on a first-come, first-served basis and limited street parking is available on Southwest 89th and 90th Avenues.

Nordia House has two accessible parking spaces in the main lot facing Southwest Oleson Road. Call 503-977-0275 or email [email protected] to arrange further assistance.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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Learn more about Steiner houses:

• A 1947 Steiner log home on the Sandy River in Troutdale is on the market for the first time

• Mount Hood Steiner Cabin Tour tickets go on sale July 1 (and will sell out fast)

• Restoring one-of-a-kind Steiner log cabins on Mount Hood takes time, skill, and hand tools

• The Depression-era log home, built by the Steiner family in Portland, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

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