The Barns at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

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.)


  1. those barns are spectacular.

    your mosaic is great..

  2. What a lovely collage of photos that really tell the story of your experience there. I love the row of windows along the side of the barn; my parent's barn has that (but only 5 windows as it is not quite that size), our cats love sitting in them and it was always fun walking by and seeing a little horse nose poking out. What a neat place you have captured.

  3. Beautiful barn. I love the collage you did.

  4. I just love this collage & I hope everyone enlarges it to get a good look at all the shots! The history is wonderful too, was it purchased for that price in 1934? WoW!
    So glad you joined & I'm looking forward to more 'Old Barn' posts!

  5. Thank you all!

    Rachel ~ What a sweet memory! Thank you for sharing!

    Tricia ~ Thank you for your kind words and for asking your question! I did a little more research so I could clarify and add to the information in the article and found out that the land was purchased in 1974 for $1.5 million dollars. I think the meme you started is great, and we have another barn in mind to post about next week! :-)

  6. Gee, I would love to see this for real...amazing. So glad you showed them as I may not get to visit the next few weeks.


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