Duane McGuire Blog

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Barn at Menlo

Category: Random Thoughts
Date: 2004-09-04

On the last several trips to Southwest Washington, my head has turned to enjoy the sight of a new barn at Menlo. It's a fairly modest structure, but truly sweet, because I think, of its use of authentic materials and its classic design.

On a recent trip by I could not contain myself. I made a U-turn at Fern Hill and drove up the driveway. That is, up the driveway, past the NO TRESPASSING signs and the barking dogs. Like I've said, it's a beautiful barn. I walked up to the door of the house and gave a knock. From the inside I heard a friendly "Come on In!".

Somewhat timidly, I opened up the door and said, "OK, I'm coming in, but you don't know me."

Back came a rather gruff, "No, I sure don't."
"Well I'm sorry to barge in, but I just couldn't help myself. I've been admiring your barn, and I just had to ask you about it."

Now the voice inside became very warm and friendly. "Sure! Would you like to go out and take a look?"

I was then engaged in an hour coversation with the owner of this fine barn, Mike Smith. Mike built the barn with his family, using conventional post barn construction and rough sawn Douglas Fir. The entire structure is made of natural fir, including the board and batten siding. Mike works for Weyerhauser, and as he said, "I was able to get a good deal on some logs." He had the logs sawn by a small mill operator, and the result is here!

I've reflected often on the captivating effect this structure had on me, as well as the enthusiasm for the project that Mike expressed. In the coming years, we'll see the effects of this sighting on my own property. More to come!

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