About the Johnson Farm
The site of Society activities is the landmark Johnson Farm, seven acres of which were a gift from Alma Ruth Laing, the last direct descendant of island pioneers, John Oscar Johnson and his wife, Alma Marie. The Johnsons were Finnish immigrants who came to Anderson Island before the turn of the century.
The farm is typical of those developed by many islanders who raised chickens and dairy herds as a source of income. The buildings are excellent examples of the type of architecture and construction found on the island prior to 1940. The barn is among the last remaining pole barns on the island, as are the chicken houses.
In 1991, John and Karen Parks deeded an additional 22 acre parcel to the museum. A portion of the gift includes the pond from which the Johnson family pumped the water used on the farm.
The farmhouse is furnished with many family heirlooms, as well as donated items reminiscent of the style and period. Many of the quilts in the museum were restored or reproduced by Lois Scholl, whose efforts on behalf of the Historical Society have earned her the title Mother of the Museum. The meeting room in the back of coop 2 is named in her memory.
The original family garden has been enlarged and is now a community garden with 25 individual plots leased annually by Society members.