(Photo by Drew Nasto)

Watson Price Barn, Philomath

WatsonPrice
(Photo by Drew Nasto)

Visiting the barn on a 2011
Restore Oregon field trip
(Photo by Drew Nasto)

(Photo by Drew Nasto)

Restore Oregon members and staff
in front of the Watson Price Barn 2011
(Photo by Drew Nasto)

WatsonPrice_3

WatsonPrice_East1

WatsonPrice_Farmhouse

Watson Price farmhouse, historic photo

WatsonPrice_hist

Watson Price farmhouse and outbuildings

WatsonPriceFarmstead

Outbuildings on the Watson Price farmstead

Statistics

  • Built: 1848
  • Architect: probably James Watson
  • Designation: National Register of Historic Places
  • Significance: Hand hewn craftsmanship & engineering; pioneer agriculture
  • Current Status: The building has suffered from deterioration longer than almost any other Oregon property and today faces structural and condition issues. It has a caring property owner, but urgently needs stabilization and rehabilitation.

News and Updates

Summer 2014:

Despite being the most intact Pioneer Farmstead, a financially viable preservation strategy continues to elude current owners

May 30, 2013:

Entire farmstead complex included in 2013 Most Endangered Places listing for 255 remaining Pioneer Homes and Farmsteads

April 4, 2013:

Preservation plan yet to be executed by owners.

February 2012:

Restore Oregon awards $2500 grant for development of preservation plan

November 2011:

University of Oregon students to present results of research to inform next steps in stabilization.

October 3, 2011:

Watson-Price Barn selected as focus of University of Oregon Field Notes documentation course.

August 15, 2011:

Pioneers’ barn called endangered

Outlet: Gazette-Times

May 26, 2011:

Owner of Watson-Price Barn Near Philomath Finds Allies to Preserve it.
Outlet: The Oregonian

May 24, 2011:

Kings Valley Barn on Endangered Places List.

Outlet: KEZI

History

In the late 1840s James and Mary Watson established a farmstead in what is now the Kings Valley area of Benton County. The Greek Revival house that stands on the property was built in 1852, the barn was built even earlier: 1848. It is a timber-framed structure with massive hand hewn members, with mortised and tenoned hand-hewn beams secured with wooden trunnels (trunnels translates to “tree nails”). The central truss is thought to be the largest hewn framing member in the entire Willamette Valley. The structural members are all hand hewn fir and include 12″x 12″ sills and posts and 10″x 10″ purlins. Truly, this structure is something unique.

Today, the house, barn, and seven outbuildings making up the property are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The farmstead James Watson developed has remained in continuous operation for over 150 years. Remarkably few changes have been made over time and the barn and associated house and outbuildings connect today’s Oregonians with the settlers of the 1840s.

The barn has seen 163 years of weather and use and it shows. The West and South elevations of the barn are in need of stabilization and restoration to minimize water intrusion and structural deficiency. The owners are unable to keep up the property, and are in need of outside assistance and a vision.

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