Barn of the Month / What's New


Tourists Hotel ca. 1906 UW

Tourist’s Hotel ca. 1906 Courtesy University of Washington Special Collections

Whew, are we ever behind!  Here it’s almost September and we’re just getting around to writing the June Barn of the Month.  Our pathetic excuse is that it’s summer, busy with tourists and all sorts of distractions.  So we thought we’d talk tourism and affordable housing and other such contemporary topics.   Here’s an item from the May 6, 1910 (that’s right, over 100 years ago) San Juan Islander:

Mrs. Eliza Welch has had several carpenters at work for some time on her barn property in the rear of the Tourist Hotel. She has had it converted into four three room apartments. It is being nicely fitted up and when finished will somewhat relieve the urgent demand for tenantable property.

What, there was a barn in ‘downtown’ Friday Harbor, behind the Tourist (now the Bird Rock) Hotel!  And it was remodeled into ‘affordable housing’?  The 1907 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map does indeed show a two-story building behind the clearly-labelled Tourist Hotel, so that may have been it, although it doesn’t seem to be visible in the historic photo provided herewith.

We’ll let you chew on that one while we line up and release the July, August, and then yes, September, Barn of the Months in the next few weeks…