WA-List » The Barns of Skagit County

The Barns of Skagit County

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Buildings & Other Structures

Preserving and rehabilitating old buildings is a common, never-ending process in most cities.  Civic boosters often sponsor historic walking tours and throw spotlights on old homes, theaters, and hotels.  The same preservation initiatives apply to rural structures, too, but usually with much less financial support or fanfare.

The Skagit County Historical Museum and the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation recently published an accordion-fold brochure and map of 55 barns in Skagit County with historic or architectural significance.  It inventories all the officially designated Heritage Barns in the area and offers brief glimpses into their histories.  Perhaps more importantly, the publication reminds its readers that not all buildings of value lie in a downtown core.

It’s also an excellent excuse to go on a historic driving tour of the farm fields in the beautiful Skagit Valley. 

WA-List typically creates its own lists, but we thought this previously-made, illustrated, and annotated list was too good to ignore.  With the kind permission of the authors of the Heritage Barns brochure, we share here the images and a few facts from just six of the many barns we found interesting.  We encourage you to visit the Heritage Barns page to see all of them.  Better yet: pickup your copy of the brochure and map at one of several Skagit County locations and go for a drive.  (Note: These barns are all on private property. Respect the owners’ rights and privacy.)


Day Lumber Company Barn, 16832 Otter Pond Drive, Mount Vernon. The Day Lumber Company owned 3000 acres of land here and operated a cattle farm to sustain the its workers at the sawmill.  The company eventually sold off the land and this 1914 English Gambrel barn was transferred through a succession of individual owners.
John Locken Barn, 19510 SR 534, Mount Vernon. The John and Guro Locken arrived in Skagit County from Norway in the late 1800s, and sometime around 1900, built this Gable-style barn for their dairy.  The Locken family — 5th generation — still lives here and the milk house next to the barn is still in operation.
Dunlap Barn, 12620 Ring Lane, La Conner. A Gable barn built about 1880, the Dunlap is one of the oldest barns in Skagit County.  It was already a half century old when it was moved to a neighboring farm to make way for a replacement.  It’s replacement no longer exists, but this one still stands. Ha!  It has stored hay, grain, and equipment during its 130+ years.
Youngquist Barn, 16645 Jungquist Road, Mount Vernon.  This 1906 English Gambrel barn, also shown above, was built by the Youngquist family who harvested fir trees on the surrounding land for the timbers.  Both dairy and beef cattle have called it home.  And with the cupola and weathervane capping the ridgeline, this is a wonderful example of the iconic American barn.
O J Rucker Barn, 9791 Farm to Market Road, Bow. This Dutch-style barn was built about 1905.  It was part of Skagit County’s first dairy farm and retains at least a portion of its original bucket track system.  It’s peak is quite high, but its side walls are only 8 feet tall.  That curiosity, as the Heritage Barns website says, makes it “mostly roof.”
Barn with no known historic name, 21220 Cook Road, Burlington. A Dutch Gambrel barn built circa 1925.  Many barns act as community centers and convenient places to hold dances.  This nearly 90 year old barn has seen a lot of activity but dancing isn’t supposed to be one of them. It has a covenant on file in county forbidding it from becoming a dance hall. 

PHOTOS: Courtesy of the Washington State Heritage Barn Project and reproduced here with permission.

SOURCE: Information culled by the Heritage Barns of Skagit County brochure and website.


One Response to “The Barns of Skagit County”

  1. Chris Moore Says:

    In addition to the beautiful Heritage Barns in Skagit County, statewide there are over 500 designated Heritage Barns participating in the Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation’s Barn Program. Learn more about the program, how to list your barn, and request grant funds for barn rehabilitation at http://www.dahp.wa.gov/heritage-barn-register.