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Kingma Farmhouse at Whidbey Navy field spared; it's moving Friday

Irene Tyhuis (center) visits the farmhouse at NAS Whidbey Island
Irene Tyhuis (center) visits the farmhouse at NAS Whidbey Island's Outlying Field Coupeville where she spent many childhood days. Her grandfather, Ralph Kingma, built and lived in the home until the Navy bought the property in the 1940s. She is pictured with her husband, Gerritt and grandson, Brian Tyhuis, who is an intern with the NAS Public Works Department.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of NAS Whidbey

Whidbey Island history buffs can breathe easy, the Kingma Farmhouse at the Navy's Outlying Field near Coupeville will be spared.

Private citizens successfully pitched a plan to the Navy to save the historic home, which will be moved on Friday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. The structure will travel down the landing field to its new location nearby.

Curt Youderian of Coupeville, a driving force in the effort to save the house, is happy with the solution.

"It was frustrating, but they did a good job," he said of working with the Navy. "I'm really impressed with the effort given by everybody."

Youderian will pay $15,000 to move the house to his property on Patmore Road. The road will be closed at 10:30 a.m. for a short time, he said.

Monroe House Moving Inc. out of Quilcene will do the heavy lifting.

Once the Kingma Farmhouse is settled in its new location, Youderian plans to restore the house and hand it over to his 21-year-old son Calvin.

The deal is a victory for Richard Castellano, executive director of the Island County Historical Society.

"Thanks to all of you who called and cared - and thanks to the Navy for being good neighbors and for listening," he wrote in an email sent Wednesday afternoon. "Let's hope this will set a healthy precedent with the Navy to work with the community in saving or salvaging some of these architectural treasures - instead of sending them off to the landfill."

Another driving force in saving the house, Laura McDonald, that the effort had to overcome a few bureaucratic obstacles, but all worked together to get the job done. When she sees the house moving Friday, "I'll be just ecstatic," she said.

The Navy will build a new caretaker's residence once the farmhouse is out of the way.

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