Letters to the Editor

Keep the Libbey house where it is

This letter is in regards to a recent public notification advertised in the Whidbey News-Times which stated Ted Clifton of Clifton View Homes has applied for a demolition permit to destroy a piece of Coupeville’s history located at 308 North Main St. This Gothic piece of history has been around for over 138 years, way longer than any of us and should remain in its original location with no commercial development.

In 1871, my great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Barstow Libbey purchased this home to raise a family, grow a garden and have a few cows in a surrounding field, now known as Peaceful Valley (formerly the Krueger Farm), one of many newer developments that now crowd Coupeville.

Mr. Clifton has developed more in the town of Coupeville than any other single man should be allowed. He has destroyed a very large portion of the south side of town with a development known to the local folk as “Cliftonville.”

I do understand that towns need to grow and provide space for small businesses to flourish. However, why attack one of the only pieces of history in Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve? Why do we call it a reserve if indeed it is not reserved? It is time that the families that have been on Whidbey for generations stand up to these developers, who want to make more money and ruin our families’ heritage. When Mr. Clifton purchased this home from Frank Meier, he knew the home was a piece of history that lies in the heart of the reserve, yet he is attempting to ignore this fact for his own personal profit. Do we sit back, spend town money, months worth of paperwork, all to destroy a piece of history for the profit of one man?

Not every individual can say they were born and raised in the same town as six generations prior to them. I can. The Libbey family has been here and supported this community for a very long time. Is it fair to us that a developer who has resided here a short 15 years can come in and attempt to destroy what our family has spent the last 175 years building?

I ask that the town take a very close look at Mr. Clifton’s application, remind him that he purchased the home knowing of its historic value, and reject his wishes.

Travis Hilkey


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