There are two huge, white barns located on Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Seeing such grand twin barns standing side by side on a wildlife preserve with wetlands all around might seem a curious thing, but before Nisqually Wildlife Refuge came into existence, the land used to be a farm. The barns were dairy barns that were built back in 1934, and they stand as reminders of the fascinating history of the land.
The wetlands where the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is located used to be a farm called the Brown Farm. It became farmland back in 1904 after Alson Lennon Brown purchased and drained 1,500 acres of salt marsh between the Nisqually River and McAllister Creek and built four miles of dikes to keep the water out.
The Brown Farm went up for sale in the 1960s, and in 1974 the land was purchased from the owners for $1.5 million, and in it's place the wildlife refuge was created to provide habitat and nesting areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds.
We love to see the barns when we visit Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. They have such character, and as is fitting on a wildlife preserve, even the barns provide refuge. Earlier this year when we visited in May, there were a whole lot of cliff swallows who had built nests under the eaves of the barns and were flying around in the open area between the two barns. When we went yesterday the nests were empty. We did see several banded woolly bear caterpillars, though, on the grass near the barn on the right, and that was fun.
Here is a collage of the twin barns at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge made from pictures my three older children and I took. If you'd like, you can click on the collage to see a larger version so you can see it better.
If you like to see barns, be sure to visit Old Barns!
(This post was edited on Tuesday afternoon to provide more information about the history of the barns.)