The Washington Heritage Barn Register commemorates barns as historically significant resources representing the agricultural, economic, and cultural development of the State of Washington. In addition to honoring the significance of barns, the Heritage Barn Register provides the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation (DAHP) with more complete information about Washington’s historic agricultural resources. To date there are over 600 designated Heritage Barns located throughout Washington’s 39 counties. In San Juan County, there are currently 15 barns listed on the Washington Heritage Barn Register. For more information on each barn, click on the highlighted name to access the nomination form.
Barnswallow Farm, Beaverton Valley, San Juan Island. Originally homesteaded by William Higgins, this place eventually was farmed by Harold Guard, with a dairy operation that included most of Beaverton Valley. Oriented north-south, the barn has a broken gable roof, is 47’6″ wide by 50’6″ long and 33′ high, with a 17’6″ by 20′ shed on the east. The central space was a floor-to-ridge hay mow, with a milking parlor with manure gutter to the west side.
John Biendl Barn, Shaw Island. Originally built as a dairy barn ca. 1910, the John Biendl Barn is one of the few in the islands with an intact silo (1919). The gable-roofed structure measures 50′ wide by 54′ long, and is 31′ high, and is built into a slope, so that part of the floor was earth and part raised wood platform.
William Gallanger Barn, Lopez Island. Built ca. 1925-26 by William Gallanger (1868-1965) and his son Bill, this is one of the few remaining barns on Lopez that is still used for agricultural purposes. The Gallangers originally built the structure as a dairy barn, for 59 cows, which was one of the largest operations in the islands. The barn measures 30′ wide by 100′ long, with a 20′ shed on the east; it is 39′ high. The structure exhibits a mix of old and new architectural technology with a center drive plan and a pre-fabricated ‘bent’ system combining round log posts with dimensional lumber beams, plates, girts, purlins, and rafters. Concrete floors and plinths were added as foundational support for the structure, and a (then) state-of-the-art milk house appended to the southwest corner. Also of note are the two blue Harvestore silos, the only known examples in the islands (which also indicated the relative magnitude and important of the operation). The William Gallanger Barn was the recipient of a Heritage Barn Grant in the 2013-2015 Biennium.
Owen Higgins Barn, Lopez Island. Built by Owen Higgins in 1938, this was used as a dairy barn until 1955, when the San Juan Dairyman’s Association stopped picking up cream on Lopez for the creamery in Friday Harbor. Higgins, who was a carpenter and shipwright, built the barn himself. The Dutch gambrel-roofed structure measures 38’6″ wide by 72’6″ long and is 38′ high. The Owen Higgins Barn was the recipient of a Heritage Barn Grant in the 2009-2011 Biennium.
James Jorgensen Barn, Orcas Island. Danish immigrant James Jorgensen homestead this place in 1883 and the barn was probably built around 1890. The broken gable-roofed structure measures 42′ wide by 53′ long and is 25′ high, with a 20′ by 20′ loafing shed added. The central portion is a floor-to-ridge hay mow, while the adjoining shed features stanchions with a manger and a manure gutter.
King Barn, San Juan Island. The King 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” shed to the northeast and the 17’ 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-foot-high hay mow, serviced by a hay rail and trolley system. Three large metal ventilators are located on top of the roof. 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.
Lawson Farm Barn, San Juan Island. Although not completely surrounded by hips, the Lawson Barn has sheds on three sides that form a distinctive ‘gable-on-hip’ roof type. Oriented east-west and built into the slope so as to take advantage of the embankment to form different floor levels, the main hay mow under the gable is 30′ wide by 52′ long, and 36′ high. It has a ventilator as well as a wood rail with steel trolley, a rare example of a central hay system (i.e., without a hay door and hood) in the islands. Each of the sheds is 20′ wide, with the west one being whitewashed and containing 10 stanchions for milk cows. The farm was purchased by Alfred Lawson in 1909, and he and his wife Esther quitclaimed it to their son Gilbert in 1941.
Nordstrom Barn, Crow Valley, Orcas Island. Settled by Andrew Nordstrom in 1901, this quarter-section farm originally had pear and Italian plum orchards and prune-drying operations as part of the early Orcas Island fruit industry. The Dutch-roofed, 40′ wide by 60′ long, 30′ high structure was used primarily for hay storage, with stanchions for milking dairy cattle.
Steinbrueck’s Place Barn, Lopez Island. Built around 1915 as a hay barn, this structure has also been used over the years as storage for pea straw as well as tarred reef nets. The center entry, saltbox-roofed structure measures 45′ wide by 65′ long and is 35′ high.
Stoney Place Barn, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. One of the few remaining barns within the Town of Friday Harbor, the Stoney Place Barn was probably built by George and Evaline Stoney after they purchased the property in 1906. Oriented north/south, the barn is a 14’ wide x 20’ long, 15’8” high (12’8” on the side) gable roofed-structure with a 10’-wide, 9’0” high shed on the west side. Originally post and beam, the structure has been rebuilt on the inside with modern dimensional lumber (4x6s and 4x8s); however, the original 1×12 board-and-batten vertical siding is intact. There are two remaining associated farm outbuildings: a root cellar and a chicken house.
John Sweeney Barn, San Juan Valley, San Juan Island. Originally homesteaded by John Archambault, the property was purchased by John Sweeney in 1890. Sweeney built the original barn, but after William Buchanan purchased the place in 1918, he raised the wooden timber frame structure onto its current masonry ground floor. The hay mow is accessed by means of a dirt and stone ramp (with an old buried tractor!) that leads to the center drive. The gable-on-hip structure measures 75′ wide by 110′ long and is 35′ high. In addition to the hay mow on the second floor, the lower floor was used for milking cattle–complete with stanchions and a manure gutter–as well as stalls and some machine storage.
Sweetwater Farm Barn, West Valley, San Juan Island. Originally built by the Alfred Lawson family around the turn of the last century, this barn is timber frame, with a center-entry hay mow and sheds for stalls added onto the west and south sides. The barn measures 56′ wide by 60′ long with a saltbox roof.
Valley View Barn, San Juan Valley, San Juan Island. Built in 1933, this dairy barn was part of Valley View Farm, bought in 1917 by Roy and Myrtle (Hemphill) Guard from land that was originally homesteaded by Peter Jewel. In 1950, Clyde and Ruth Guard Sundstrom purchased the property, and operated a dairy there as well as raising oats, barley, and hay; livestock such as sheep and beef cattle; and poultry such as chickens and turkeys. The barn is 80′ long, 68′ wide, and 36′ tall. It has a broken gable roof—two slopes per side, the upper one being of steeper pitch. The Valley View Farm Barn was the recipient of a Heritage Barn Grant in the 2013-2015 Biennium.
Wilson-Kring Farm Barn, Lopez Island. John Wilson, who came to Lopez from Michigan in 1892, had a 80-acre dairy farm with his father-in-law, George Boulton. The barn has two parts: a 46′ wide by 70′ long, 31’9″ high broken gable roof section used for hay, grain storage, and horse stalls and a 30′ wide by 36′ long addition to the east that contains a ‘modern’ milking parlor, complete with concrete floors and manure gutters and pipe stanchions . There are also a farmhouse and blacksmith shop on the property. The Kring family later farmed the property.