The Oscar Anderson House has been a showcase of everyday family life in early Anchorage for more than thirty years, providing visitors and locals alike with interesting insight into the life of the Oscar Anderson family. In 1978, the house was recorded in the National Register of Historic Places due to the building's significant architecture, as well as for the role Oscar Anderson played in early Anchorage's development. The house was carefully restored between 1978 and 1982 by volunteers. Within the home's interior décor are period antiques, paint, and wallpaper. In 1982, the Oscar Anderson House, the only house museum in Anchorage, opened to the public.
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The one and a half story bungalow includes three rooms upstairs and four rooms downstairs. Quality of construction, number of rooms, and materials caused this home to stand out among the tents and one-room log cabins that could be found in the early Ship Creek Townsite. It is considered to be the first wood-framed house in Anchorage, and the original 1915 structure has remained relatively unchanged. Originally owned by the family of Oscar Anderson, the house was deeded in 1976 to the Municipality of Anchorage.
Displayed throughout the Oscar Anderson House are historic artifacts from the Anderson family, as well as items donated by the community. Among the items in the house is a 1909 Hallet and Davis player piano that was built in Boston and then moved from Seattle. Family photographs can be seen on the walls. The house collection is also comprised of a Monarch wood cook stove, a Sellers Hoosier-style cabinet, and a 1914 Victrola record player that were all donated.
The dining room in the house retains its original Swedish-crafted wood work, as well as custom cabinets that include a built-in buffet used to display the Anderson's china. On display in the kitchen, saved from Oscar's meat market, is a heavily-used butcher block. Period toys and clothing are displayed in the bedrooms upstairs. The guided museum tour, early Anchorage and Ship Creek photos, period antiques, and family heirlooms all help create a historic ambiance in the Oscar Anderson House, sharing the story of the Anderson family, of both their settlement and daily life in Alaska.
Oscar Anderson made numerous contributions the early Anchorage's development. He worked on many collaborative efforts, such as the Ship Creek Meat Corporation and a cold storage plant. Located on 4th Avenue, the meat market sold retail and wholesale meats to residents of the town and surrounding area. Oscar also benefitted financially from his contributions to the Evans Jones coal mine and Anchorage Air Transport, Inc. The railroad boom town transformed during Oscar Anderson's life to a place where one could both be prosperous and raise a family.
Oscar was born on June 2, 1883 in Fakerskog, Sweden and immigrated to America in 1900. He later moved to Seattle, and by his own account, was the eighteenth person to arrive in Tent City of Ship Creek. In 1905, Oscar married Elizabeth Jonsonn, who was also a Swedish immigrant.
420 M Street, Anchorage, Alaska, Phone: 907-929-9870