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At long last — ground broken for log cabin move

The William R. “Uncle Bill” Greaves memorial bronze plaque is removed from the area between the Kitsap County Fairgrounds office and Pavilion, where the log cabin will soon be moved. The cabin now sits a block away at the intersection of Stampede Boulevard and Fairgrounds Road. From left: Ken Kramer, log cabin project chairman; Richard Chrisinger, a Civilian Conservation Corps alumni; and Phil Kurtsinger of the VFW. - Photo by Kelly Everett
The William R. “Uncle Bill” Greaves memorial bronze plaque is removed from the area between the Kitsap County Fairgrounds office and Pavilion, where the log cabin will soon be moved. The cabin now sits a block away at the intersection of Stampede Boulevard and Fairgrounds Road. From left: Ken Kramer, log cabin project chairman; Richard Chrisinger, a Civilian Conservation Corps alumni; and Phil Kurtsinger of the VFW.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

A two-story log cabin — built by the Civilian Conservation Corps 70 years ago while FDR sat in the Oval Office — will be moved within the week.

The old log cabin “house” will be moved from Fairgrounds Road and Stampede Boulevard to a new concrete foundation being built west of the Pavilion, south of President’s Hall and near Fairgrounds Road.

The cabin will be restored over the following year and dedicated as a historical monument to such things as the Great Depression, FDR, the CCC, World War II, the county fair, the photo society sponsor, and other landmark events and persons over the past seven decades and beyond.

The cabin will also be the dedication site of Central Kitsap pioneer William R. “Uncle Bill” Greaves.

Uncle Bill’s memorial bronze plaque — embedded in the ground at the site for the cabin — was removed during the groundbreaking. Greaves, who lived from 1887-1965, is remembered as an early organizer of the Kitsap County Fair and was president of the fair board 1962-65.

The plaque will be refurbished and mounted on the cabin or nearby. Greaves was also a veteran, which is why vet and CCC “alumni” Richard Chrisinger and VFW Post 239 Commander Phil Krutsinger were on hand with Ken Kramer, member of the all-volunteer Log Cabin Project Committee (largely members of the Pacific Northwest Photographic Society) to dig out the plaque.

There were rumors of a time capsule, said Kramer, but probings in the ground beneath the plaque revealed nothing. The plaque was set in 1966.

Chrisinger is a member of the National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni. He spent 18 months as a teenager doing soil conservation and other work for the CCC in the 1930s. He also served during World War II and in Korea. He was working at PSNS just after the attack at Pearl Harbor, when the Navy brought in battleships such as the USS Nevada, Tennessee and Maryland to be “cleaned up.”

“I helped redo NAD Park in the 1980s,” he said. NAD was one of many former sites for the log cabin house and its companion, a log cabin stable. The stable was recently deemed unsalvageable and razed at Fairgrounds Road and Stampede Boulevard. Both structures sat at that corner for over a decade while the county tried to find something to do with them.

Pat Seamans and Paulette Colebank, who lived in the cabin as children when the structure was elsewhere in the county, said they only barely remember being there.

“All my memories come in when my mother would take me back to see it after we moved out,” she said. “We lived there for a while in the early 1950s.”

She said her grandfather had gotten a job at NAD when it was still the Naval Ammunition Depo rather than a park off Kitsap Way in Bremerton. “I wish my mom could be here to see the groundbreaking... she died in 1998.”

About two dozen people attended the groundbreaking.

The committee has raised about $30,000 toward the goal of $65,000 to complete the project, in planning for four years. Over the coming weeks the photo society will be looking for volunteer labor.

The county needed the cabin moved or demolished to make room for a major remodel of the southern half of the Fairgrounds, including new parking lots, driveways and playing fields.

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