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Old farmhouse at Navy field spared
Whidbey Island history buffs can breathe easy, the Kingma Farmhouse at the Navy’s Outlying Field near Coupeville dodged the wrecking ball.
Private citizens successfully pitched a plan to the Navy to save the historic home. The structure was lifted from its foundation, wheeled down the landing field and traveled a short distance on Patmore Road to its new location early Friday afternoon.
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 paid $15,000 to move the house to his Patmore Road property. The road was closed to traffic for a short time to accommodate the two-story historic home.
Monroe House Moving Inc. out of Quilcene did the heavy lifting.
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, said the effort had to overcome a few bureaucratic obstacles, but everyone worked together to get the job done. When she sees the house moving Friday, “I’ll be just ecstatic,” she said.
Construction of a new caretaker’s residence will begin on Tuesday.