CARLSBORG — Construction workers and volunteers will be busy today installing a new roof on a historic structure listed on the state’s Heritage Barn Register.
The Henry Frost Barn, near Frost Road on a 67-acre sheep farm, will be covered with corrugated steel.
The farm, home to about 75 head of sheep, is owned by Paul and Deb Hansen.
“We expect to get a load of our roofing material, and we will start putting that on,” said Paul, 71, on Wednesday.
The metal roof replaces wooden shingles that have been removed from the aging structure.
“We would like to have put [new] shingles on, but that was prohibitive in terms of cost,” Paul added.
Henry Frost built the barn by hand about 75 years ago. Frost owned and operated a dairy farm on the site.
“We don’t know exactly when it was built, but it was here when my parents [Ralph and Virginia Keeting] bought the place in ’48,” said Deb, 65.
Frost’s hand-hewn timbers, sourced from the surrounding forest, support the barn and give it a distinctive look.
The barn was originally designed for loose hay storage.
“They would bring it in on a wagon, and they had grapples that would come down on a rope, and they’d grab a grapple full of hay, haul it up, bring it across and dump it,” Paul said.
After more than seven decades of continuous use, the barn began falling apart and needed renovations to remain structurally sound.
“It was in good shape when I was a kid, [but] time took its toll,” Deb said.
“They say a barn’s life is about 80 years or less.”
Not willing to let the barn fall into further disrepair, the Hansens began fundraising last year to reach a goal of $22,000 in grant-matching money to preserve the structure.
The grant was provided through the state Department of Archaeology and Historical Preservation’s Heritage Barn Grant Program.
The program is part of the state’s Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative, established in 2007.
Eight barns in Clallam County are on the state’s list of heritage barns. No others have received funding.
The Hansens were given one year to finish the barn, with the grant expiring June 30.
They began renovations with a cadre of hired hands and volunteers last September and hope to have it completed by the end of this month.
“We’ve asked for an extension just in case,” but that isn’t an option until the state Legislature passes a budget, Deb said.
“There is a big Catch-22 with the Legislature.”
Over the past nine months, the structure has undergone major repairs, with several of the six support beams supporting it being raised and placed on concrete pilings.
“It was pretty crooked” before the repairs, Paul said.
The first step was to place large anchors on the west side of the barn and attach them to the structure with cables to ensure it didn’t collapse while the support beams were moved.
Additionally, several timbers were replaced with wood found on the farm.
“Some of these poles we actually got off the property,” Paul said.
“We went up in the woods and felled some skinny little straight trees.”
The Hansens also received timber donations from Dave Le Roux, a Sequim-area businessman.
“I’ve gotten donations from a lot of different places,” Paul said gratefully.
The most difficult phase of renovations was dismantling the old wood, he said.
“The roof was probably the hardest, although it has been going really well. We’ve got some good workers helping us,” he said.
He noted that about six volunteers from the North Olympic Land Trust have been constant helpers throughout the project.
“They have been wonderful,” he said, adding that they have been busy pulling nails from the dismantled wood and stacking the old roof shingles.
Some of the shingles will be donated to the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley to be sold at a fundraiser later this summer.
“That would really please my mother,” Deb said.
After the new roof is installed, the last step will be to paint on it the names of everyone who donated to the restoration and who worked on the team to renovate the barn.
Deb is excited to see the finished product and knows the restoration would have meant a lot to her parents, both of whom are now deceased.
“They would love to see this happening,” she said.
“It means a lot to me, and I think it means a lot to the community as a whole.”
________Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or [email protected]