I would like to congratulate Bob Walter and the South Pierce County Historical Society for moving the Tofu House, aka the old Reichel family barn, to its new location to be preserved. I know Bob encountered a tremendous number of frustrating obstacles to get it done, and his perseverance is to be commended.
I would like to add one portion to this story that has been omitted. I would like some credit given to my mom and dad, Sam and Norma Reichel, for owning and maintaining that building for 55 years, or over half the building’s life, on their property in Eatonville. Without my dad leveling, reroofing, adding the concrete floor, and generally maintaining it over the years, it would have fallen completely apart long ago, just like many barns you see in rural Pierce County. They sold the property 10 years ago, where the building had sat unmaintained since, and the amount of dry rot that has occurred to it since then is testament to their care. Without my parents maintaining that building, it would have been long gone. Additionally, it was my parents who approached Pat Hamilton about 15 years ago or more about giving it to the Historical Society.
Thanks for letting me share an excluded, yet important part of that building’s history. My appreciation goes out to Bob and the Historical Society who saved a piece of Eatonville history and a part of my childhood along the way. It’s people like him who continue to make Eatonville such a great place to live.
It would have been a shame to tear it down. Norma Reichel is still an Eatonville resident. I sure hope they invite her to its grand opening.