The Goodletson Cabin

The Goodletson Cabin Museum is located next to the Pioneer Schoolhouse just north of the intersection of County Q and Moravia Street.  Map

EHF 65 Reception June 14, 2014 T. Dukehart (10)
Goodletson Cabin Museum, 2014. Marilyn Cushing, the former President of the Ephraim Historical Foundation, is the great-granddaughter of Thomas and Kjesten Goodletson. Photo by T. Dukehart.

The Goodletson Cabin was built approximately in 1855 on Eagle Island (now Horseshoe Island) by Norwegian immigrant Thomas Goodletson and his family. It was skidded across the ice in the 1860s to the foot of the bay near where the Ephraim Condominiums are now located. Thomas and his wife Kjesten had nine children.

Many early meetings of the Bethany Lutheran Church were held in the cabin before the church was built in the 1880s. The Bethany Ladies Aid was founded in the cabin, and Mrs. Goodletson was the first treasurer. The Goodletson family lived in the cabin until the late 1800s.

For a time the cabin was used by the Hotel Ephraim as a honeymoon suite. In 1974, Ted Hoeppner donated the Goodletson Cabin to the EHF and the original cabin was moved to its current site on Moravia Street.

2 thoughts on “The Goodletson Cabin”

  1. Hello Carol. This is Kathleen, EHF Educator. I’m sorry for the delay in responding but I was out of town for a few days. First, the EHF can snail mail or send a digital copy through email of its one-page write up titled “History of the Bethany Lutheran Church. If that’s something you’re interested in, please contact me. And, just so it’s clear in my head (so many names!), what is the name of your great great grandmother? You can email me at We’re planning to write a blog/essay (or perhaps a few) that dive a little deeper into the church and the cemetery (located on Hwy 42).

    As for the Moravian Church (, it predates Martin Luther. John Huss ( is often mentioned as the “father” of the Moravian Church. Over twenty years ago, the EHF also published a book of authentic letters written by the Anna Petterson, wife of Ephraim’s 3rd Moravian minister, to her mother back in Europe. You should be able to find it in your local library or it can be purchased at the EHF,

  2. I am a direct descendant of Thomas and Kjesten Goodletson through their son Goodlet Goodletson. I thought they were Moravian Christians or is that a branch of the Lutheran Church? I belong to the Detroit HArbor Ladies Aid society on Washington Island and I’m thrilled to read the Bethany Ladies Aid was due in part to my great-great grandmother. Makes me feel closer to what was a shadowy figure in my DNA report.

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