Hans Berthusen came to Whatcom County at the age of 23 when it was just a sprawling wilderness.
He was born in Norway on January 20th 1860 and Berthusen’s father brought the family to Marshall, County, Iowa in 1864. At the age of 19, Berthusen began trekking his way west, eventually settling in Whatcom county in 1863 with his friend Mark Stone.
Together they homesteaded the one hundred sixty acres of land covered with a dense growth of timber and brush. Berthusen personally cleared one hundred acres and constructed a log cabin.
In 1890 he purchased an additional 80 acres, and cleared 40 of those acres in order to be sold. While living on this land Berthusen ran a successful dairy, but then eventually turned to cultivating the land. His improvements included the building of two barns, one of them considered to be the largest in Whatcom County at the time.
Berthusen kept about twenty acres of pristine virgin timber untouched by the axe as a visible testament to what the country looked like when he arrived. Despite timbers immense worth, Berthusen refused to cut these acres, saying the money couldn’t compensate the pride and pleasure derived from living among his trees.
On December 25, 1889, Berthusen married Miss Leda Hawley. She was an avid lover of flowers and her green thumbs added to the charm of the Berthusen Farm. They lived a joyous life on their farm until her death in November 19, 1943. Hans died a few months later on February 7, 1944. Upon his death, he bestowed his homestead of 263 acres to the city of Lynden.
Currently the park offers campsites and shelter areas for the enjoyment of the entire community.
For more information contact the Berthusen Park at
8837 Berthusen Road
Lynden, WA 98264
(Information provided by the Lynden Parks Department.)