Barn of the Month

December 2016: KING BARN


The King Barn on a rise above the surrounding pastureland and marsh

This month we continue our ‘tour’ of historic island barns that are listed on the Washington Heritage Barn Register.  The King Barn is sited on a rise above the Three Meadows pastureland and marsh on San Juan Island.  If not the largest barn in the San Juan Islands, it is certainly the longest at 130-plus feet.



View from NE

View from the Northeast


Built around 1905, the barn, oriented on a north-south axis, is located on pastureland near a marsh in the northern interior of San Juan Island.  The structure, which has a large metal gable roof with sheds on the northeast, southeast, and south sides, is 98′ long (plus the 16’6”-wide shed to the northeast and the 17’-wide shed to the south) and 56’3” wide (plus another 14’ for the southeast shed).  The main part of the post-and-beam, center-drive barn consists of seven bays that enclose a 33′-high hay mow, serviced by a hay rail and trolley system.  Three large metal ventilators are located on top of the roof.


Milking Shed on the south side–whitewashed with manure gutter and cat…

The south shed, probably added in 1934 (as suggested by an inscription in the concrete floor), shelters a milking parlor with an estimated ten stanchions, complete with a concrete floor, manger, manure gutter, and walkways, as well as an indoor creamery in the southwest corner.  The other sheds were used for stables.


This barn is certainly an imposing structure, and we are delighted that it is listed on the Washington Heritage Barn Register!