Old farmhouse at Navy field spared
January 8, 2010 · Updated 3:27 PM
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.