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The tour descends into park-like terrain as it approaches Parkland, a trading center for farmers and for students from Pacific Lutheran Academy. First settled in the 1850s, many families here are of Scandinavian descent. Throughout this area scattered clumps of coniferous trees and small lakes once lent a park-like appearance to the landscape.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Pacific Lutheran University

The University started as Pacific Lutheran College and Academy, and was maintained by the Lutheran churches of the Pacific Northwest. Opened by the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 1894, the academy was merged in 1919 with the Columbia Lutheran College, which had been established by the United Norwegian Lutheran Church in 1909; the union of the schools followed the amalgamation of the two churches in 1917. The three-year liberal arts and normal school departments of the college are accredited by the University of Washington and the State Department of Public Instruction. Today the university has about 3,600 students and approximately 250 full-time faculty. It currently consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Nursing, and the School of Physical Education.

Old Main

The imposing brick centerpiece of the PLU campus was opened in 1894 to be the heart of the new Pacific Lutheran Academy built by and for Norwegian Lutherans. A five-story center section is flanked by four-story wings and capped with a roof adding another two storys. Old Main was renamed Harstad Hall in 1960 to honor PLU’’s founder, Bjug Harstad.

Ward T. Smith/Bjug Harstad House

Ward Smith, a Parkland pioneer, gave 10-acres of his land for the Pacific Lutheran Academy (now PLU), and enticed Bjug Harstad to come to Washington as its first administrator. The house, originally built in 1890 as an ornate Victorian residence, was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1920. It was subsequently altered in 1935 and 1951. Several of the ornamental fruit trees planted by Smith survive to this day.

Parkland Lutheran Children’s Home

This 2.5 storey frame building began its life in 1902 as an orphanage affiliated with PLU and operated as such until 1918. Its conversion to an apartment building occurred in 1920.

Emma Smith DeVoe House

Known as Villa DeVoe, this rather plain wood frame home, built in 1911, housed the leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Washington State. A colleague of Susan B. Anthony, Emma DeVoe Smith worked tirelessly for women rights, culminating in 1910 when Washington State amended its constitution to allow women the vote – a full ten years before the United States ratified the 19th amendment to the Constitution.