This (belated) Barn of the Month comes courtesy of Jim and Linda Bergquist (Linda is an Ericksen), who graciously let us visit their place on Stuart Island this last July, as part of a San Juan Islands National Monument tour. The Ericksen barn was built in 1908 by Erick Tobias Ericksen (1869-1934), who was born, raised, and married Kristine Marie Christiansen (1871-1949) in Norway. The Ericksens and their growing family of three children (with seven more to come) arrived on Stuart Island in 1902, through Marie’s brother, P.N. Christiansen, who was the Keeper at Turn Point Light Station. In addition to farming–eggs, dairy products, geese, and turkeys, among many crops–Erick cut cordwood for the mail boat and the kilns at Roche Harbor and Marie was postmistress at Prevost from 1910-1940.
The barn, which is oriented north-south, is 40′ by 50′ and includes a 15-foot shed for milking dairy cows. It has a broken gable roof, and is constructed with log posts and beams and dimensional lumber rafters. According to the August 29, 1908 San Juan Islander, it was constructed with the help of neighbor Willis Maxfield, and, according to Jim’s The History of Stuart Island (essential for research on Stuart Island history), Erick and Marie’s oldest daughter Martha.
Many thanks to Jim and Linda for preserving this significant part of Stuart Island history, as well as keeping the history of Stuart Island alive!