Hovander Homestead Park is located on the Nooksack River, south of Ferndale, WA. Hakan Hovander - a Swedish architect, settled here in 1865, after coming to America with his twin brother. He married in 1879, his family grew to 7 children.
In 1989 the Hovanders bought a 60 acre farm for $4,000, approximately $200,000 today, and in 1900 added another 200 acres. The house was built between 1901 and 1903, and is 6,800 square feet, with three bedrooms, library, dining room and large kitchen. The second floor was never finished, and no one knows for certain just why, but it was used for dances in the early days of the home.
Just east of the house is a huge 10,900-square-foot red barn, built in 1911, one of the largest barns in the area. Inside are some original farm implements dating from between 1900 and 1950. In the summer barnyard animals are loaned to the farm for youngsters to enjoy. Flower gardens surround the house in the summer, with vegetable gardens during the growing season
Hakan Hovender passed away in 1915. One of the children, Otis, had never married and lived there with his mother until her death in 1936. In 1969 Otis sold the farm to Whatcom County Parks and Recreation for $60,000 (nearly half a million in today's dollars). Included in the sale were furnishings in the house, and some of this furniture is still there today, other pieces have been replaced with similar period pieces.
In 1974 the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1978 received the National Trust for Historic Preservation award for the preservation of a significant and authentic historic site.
It is a favorite spot for picnics and enjoying tours of the house and access to the barn. A 50 foot observation tower stands on the edge of Tennant Lake - with views of the shallow wetland/lake. There is a fragrance garden and interpretive center near the lake and tower and it is a popular area for wildlife viewing, weddings and picnics.