Sequim dance Friday to raise funds for historic barn preservation
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Paul and Deb Hansen will host a dance Friday to raise funds to help preserve their barn off Frost Road south of Carlsborg. The dance will be at the Sequim Prairie Grange Hall. Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

By Diane Urbani de la Paz and Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — In hopes of saving their working barn — a 74-year-old structure on the state’s Heritage Barn Register — Paul and Deb Hansen are having a dance at the Sequim Prairie Grange Hall, 290 Macleay Road, this Friday night.

Admission is $5, and the bands are the Dead Peasants Society, an acoustic-music quartet just back from a tour of the Southwest, and Good Machine, featuring bassist Hayden Pomeroy — all playing American roots music, Deb promised.

She and her husband will serve coffee, tea and lemonade throughout the dance from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Additional donations will be more than welcome, she added, since she and her family need to raise $22,000 in grant-matching money to preserve the barn, located off Frost Road southwest of town.

“This place was a dairy farm originally,” Deb said. “Now my husband and I raise sheep. We need the barn for hay and holding pens.

The barn “is in bad shape now, needing a new roof, new support beams, and [is] listing to one side. But it is perfectly salvageable.”

The Hansens’ barn was the first one in Clallam County to receive a grant from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Deb noted. They were awarded $22,000 to preserve the building.

Eight barns in Clallam County are on the state’s list of heritage barns.

No others have received funding.

To collect their grant, the Hansens must come up with the match.

“It was built about 1940 by Henry Frost by hand, using his own timber off the homestead,” Deb said. “It’s an incredible piece of folk art.”

“My parents, Ralph and Virginia Keeting, bought his farm in 1948 and moved in the next year. The barn has been in continuous use ever since.”

The fact that the barn was built by the original homesteader, that it has been in the family for a long time and that it is still in agricultural use were major points for the state trust, she added.

Frost’s hand-hewn timbers support the barn and give it a distinctive look, as does the basketball hoop her father built on the barn’s south face in the 1950s.

Deb remembers playing on top of piles of hay inside the barn while she was growing up.

She and her husband spent a summer sleeping in the barn while they renovated their nearby farmhouse.

Now, they have one year to finish restoring the barn.

As for Friday’s event at the grange hall, “if this dance is a success, we’ll be doing it again,” Deb said.

“We’ll need to keep raising money.”

For more information about the barn project, phone the Hansens at 360-681-6306.

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.



Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 03. 2014 7:12PM
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