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Historic Barns of the San Juan Islands

The barns of San Juan County are a visual testimony to the rich history of island farming.  Some of the largest structures in the islands, they literally stand out in the landscape.  They are treasured by local residents and visitors alike as monuments to the distinctive cultural landscape of the islands.  San Juan County barns are a varied lot.  In age, the earliest examples date from the mid-1860s, some of the oldest surviving barns in Washington State; on the other end of the spectrum, barns are still being built.  The historic barns of the San Juan Islands also vary considerably in regard to size, shape, plan, and function.  While most were built to store hay and house livestock, usually cattle, horses or sheep, barns were also used for poultry, fruit storage, and grain.  This site will provide you with information about these barns and their island context.