This web site is dedicated to all the wonderful old barns in my home town, and to hard-working farmers everywhere.
The Sequim-Dungeness Valley of western Washington was founded as a farming community. Since 1850, agriculture has been the backbone of the community. Its importance is celebrated annually during the Sequim Irrigation Festival.
But while the ditches that bring water from the Olympics are memorialized, those very farms and dairies, which grew and prospered thanks to that bounty, are being forgotten.
In the 1970s there were over 250 working farms in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley; now there are less than a dozen. The wonderful weather of the region has drawn both retirees and young families, and commercial growth has supplanted the farming life. Fields and pastures are rapidly giving way to housing tracts and shopping centers, and the old barns are being razed in the name of Progress.
The barns that remain are, for the most part, untended and ignored. They are not maintained, and will ultimately fall. Used as little more than covered landfills, they are at best an eyesore, at worst health hazards.
The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the Puget Consumers Co-op and other similar organizations will be able to save a few of these old barns, but most are destined to vanish from our landscape forever. Saving each and every physical barn is not practical, and in many cases not even desirable; but that does not mean their contribution to history should also vanish. Their memories must be preserved, their stories told, for all the future generations.
This web site shows some of the barns I have photographed, and tells some of the stories I have heard. I hope that my pages, and my paintings derived from the photographs, can help preserve a little bit of our vanishing rural history.
Artist and Barn Lover
The next deadline for barn owners to submit nomination materials for the Heritage Barn Register is May 31(more...)
Do you know about a barn in the Sequim-Dungeness area? Act now to preserve that information for the future!
Email me here, or write to Cathrine Bennett - Post Office Box 244 - Carlsborg, WA 98324
Thank you for your support.