Collins Building timbers and other parts bequeathed

Everett’s historic Collins Building is gone but, as the saying goes, not forgotten.

It will live on in a host of historic buildings in the Northwest, including quite a few on Ebey’s Landing in Coupeville.

The Collins Building, built around 1925, was on the National Register of Historic Places. The Port of Everett had it dismantled because repairing the building, mostly used through the years to make caskets, was deemed too expensive.

The port saved many of the beams, windows and other useful parts and asked for requests from other historic buildings that could use the materials.

Eight requests have been approved so far, mostly for buildings built around the turn of the 20th century that need to replace rotten timbers.

The requests include:

•The Crawford Barn in Columbia Hills State Park, which is on the state Register of Historic Places as an old homestead. The state Parks Department wants to replace several 12×12 sill beams in a 1878 barn.

The A.J. Johnson Barn in Mount Vernon, built in 1906. The building, on the Heritage Barn Register, needs floor joists, rim joists, blocking, beams and posts, as well as 12 windows.

The Van Dam Place in Coupeville, built in 1904, needs some beams to add structure to the house and allow it to be lifted for the addition of footings and pilings. It’s part of Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.

The Jenne Farm in Coupeville, built in 1908, also at Ebey’s Landing, needs to replace a rotten sill on a summer kitchen and woodshed.

Sheepherder’s House in Coupeville, also at Ebey’s Landing, needs timbers to replace the roof and for structural support in the floor, chimney and walls. It was built around 1900.

Crockett Blockhouse, built in 1855 on Ebey’s Landing, needs timbers and beams to replace deteriorated logs.

The Sam Keith Farm, built in 1895 in Coupeville, needs materials for both a shed and barn that has some seriously deteriorated walls and sills that need to be replaced.

Quitslund’s Barn on Bainbridge Island, built in 1905, also has a lot of rotten timbers that need to be replaced. It’s on the Heritage Barn Register.

Members of Historic Everett and other groups worked hard to save the Collins Building, arguing that it could successfully be rehabilitated to function as a farmer’s market or other public structure.

I’m sure that having it piecemealed into other structures is not a sufficient replacement to keeping the building itself, but I’m glad to see that’s happening.

The thick, heavy beams are a rarity these days, and it’s nice to see that they will give other historic structures renewed life.

The port was required to provide the materials to other historic buildings as needed. What isn’t needed by those buildings will be sold for commercial use.

It addition to providing materials, the port also agreed to complete a narrative about the Collins Building and to provide it to libraries and school districts. The narrative is ready, the port’s Lisa Lefebre said, and will be on the port’s website.

She said the port also has photographed the Collins Building extensively so that it can be recreated in interpretive displays, has installed a small plaque and will complete an essay on the building for the website HistoryLink.

It also plans to provide some interpretive displays on port history as it redevelopments the north marina property.

Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459;benbow@heraldnet.com.

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