A Barn at Fort Steilacom Park

Fort Steilacoom Park used to be the site of Western State Hospital.  In 1871, since state funding for what was then known as the "Insane Asylum of Washington" was scarce, they started a small farm to grow food for the patients and staff.

By the early 1900's the farm had grown to about 200 acres.  The farm grew crops and orchards and also had a grazing area and pens for cows, chickens, turkeys, and pigs.  Barns were built to help care for the animals and help with farm maintenance.  Hospital patients performed labor for the farm as part of their occupational therapy.

(The source for this information is from a sign at Fort Steilacoom Park near one of the barns, and I'll post more information next week.)

Here is one of the barns.  My children noticed that you could peek through an opening into the barn.  That's what you see them doing in the first picture. 

View inside the barn as seen through the opening above.

I'll post pictures of the barn in the foreground next week.

~* Old Barns *~


  1. That barn has an interesting history. I'm sure the farm chores were good therapy for many.

  2. Fantastic series of barn pics & very cool that you added the barn lock & a view inside, too. Thanks for sharing this w/ us - I love barns!

  3. I love to read stories of barns that is why I am fascinated of them. Happy Tuesday!
    Old Barns

  4. That is a barn with interesting history! I love the kids peeking inside. Makes a great photo.

  5. I love all the details of that barn you shared. Those locks and hinges are really neat. I really liked some of the angles you used for your shot. They are just beautiful.

  6. Neat barn with an interesting history. MB

  7. If walls could only talk! Love the pics


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