The Coupeville Wharf is one of 11 historic properties in Central Whidbey to receive a 2018 Ebey’s Forever Fund grant. Whidbey News Group file photo

The Coupeville Wharf is one of 11 historic properties in Central Whidbey to receive a 2018 Ebey’s Forever Fund grant. Whidbey News Group file photo

Ebey’s Forever funds $66K in grants

Nearly a dozen historic properties in Central Whidbey will receive a total of $66,000 in grants from the Ebey’s Forever Fund for 2018.

Now in its eighth year, the community-driven grant program supports preservation, rehabilitation and continued use of historic buildings within Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve by providing annual matching grants to stabilize and sustain heritage buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Among the awardees this year are the historic Coupeville Wharf along Front Street, and the Hingston/Trumball Store in San de Fuca, currently home to Penn Cove Pottery.

The largest awards went to the Reuble Dairy Barn, which received $15,000 to rebuild the south wall of the structure and the Joseph Libbey House and Sherman Hog Barn which each received $10,000.

The Joseph Libbey House will use the funds for the roof, foundation and wood windows.

The Sherman Hog Barn will repair its metal roof.

While not the largest award, the Port of Coupeville received $6,550 toward repairs at the Coupeville Wharf.

“Part of the grant will be to replace an outdated fire suppression control panel,” said Chris Michalopoulos, executive director of the port. “The current panel is past its expected life span and is not serviceable. It is displaying error codes and cannot be reset.

“We are replacing the panel with a wireless panel that will eliminate the need for a dedicated phone line, as well as allow remote access for service and support. Protecting our historic wharf from fire is a vital action; this new panel will enhance our ability to better support the monitoring and upkeep of our fire suppression system.”

Grant funds will also go to structural repairs needed on the wharf roof.

“Due to the movement and decay of a portion of piles, caps and substructure under the wharf causeway, the walls to the historic building are leaning and buckling; this has caused the roof to collapse in certain areas, and in one area by as much as 12 inches,” Michalopoulos said.

“This grant will support the emergency repair of certain portions of the roof to prevent further collapse until repairs can be made to rehabilitate the piles, caps and substructure of the wharf.”

Also on the list are awards for a cedar shingle roof for the Leach Ice House, structure and siding repairs to the Sherman Turkey Brooder, chimney and window repairs to the Todd/Lovejoy House, wood storm windows to the Van Dam House, wood storm windows and porch repairs to the Rev. Lindsey House and structure, siding and paint for the Whidbey Island Game Farm Brooders.

The grant program is funded entirely by private donations to Friends of Ebey’s, a nonprofit organization that supports the Reserve.

Friends of Ebey’s committed another $50,000 of funding in March.

“People understand that without the historic buildings, the story of this place could fade,” said Alix Roos, executive director of the Friends.

“This grant program has not only helped historic building owners, farmers and all who participate in the enjoyment of the Reserve, it’s also injected more than a million dollars into the local economy.”

“Donors have been sincerely gratified in the way that the results of their investment are seen on many levels.”

Since its inception, the grant program has funded 67 preservation projects, ranging from painstaking roof replacements on Victorian homes to foundation repair for some of the Reserve’s important working barns.

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