Nesset Farm

106 acres, Nesset Creek, Coho salmon, Nooksack elk herd migration route, future county park
Location: Saxon Road

Nesset Farm

Nesset Farm

A pioneer farmstead with a 100-year-old forest is the legacy of Grantors Tom and Ingeborg Nesset, children of Norwegian immigrants Lars and Anna Nesset, who came to the farm in 1905. Ingeborg was born on the farm in 1909. She and Tom never left it.

There were three other children in the family, but Tom and Ingeborg were the last surviving members of the family in 1989 when they granted a conservation easement to WLT. Their vision was to preserve the homestead in its original state and perhaps turn it into a public park used for education as well as ecological and historic preservation.

WLT board member Rand Jack, who helped the Nessets form their plan, wrote: “As a young boy, Tom watched the hillside behind the house logged bare of giant old growth trees. Though he worked in logging at times himself, Tom said he never wanted to see the hillside cut like that again. The legacy of that experience is a majestic 60-acre stand of Douglas fir that will be part of the Nesset park.”

Spawned Coho Salmon

Spawned Coho Salmon

Long before the term environmentalist was coined, the Nessets lived a conservation ethic. A tiny salmon stream that runs through the farm would sometimes get choked with over 300 spawning coho salmon. Still visible on a post in the barn, inscriptions made each year by the Nessets record the date of the first salmon  return to the stream. If  low water impeded salmon fry going back to the river, Tom and his brother George had a little net they would use to scoop up the fry and help them on their journey.

As Tom and Ingeborg grew older, they relied more and more on a cousin and neighbor, Russ Pfeiffer-Hoyt, to help them with the farm.He honored their desire to preserve the homestead, helping them place the farm in a family trust, so that when Tom died at the age of 94 in 1992, Russ became the legal trustee and the steward of the farm.