A 1918 barn and wheat field in Wilbur, Washington
Annette Archuleta has a hobby: Capturing barn photos. And so, when Archuleta heard about a beautiful old barn in Wilbur, Washington, she decided to take the roughly hour-long drive from her home in Spokane this past August.
“My grandson and his significant other went out there one day, and he came home and said, ‘Oh my God, grandma, you’ve got to see this barn,’” she recalls.
Never having been or even heard of Wilbur, Archuleta did go and take the barn photo with her cellphone. She thought the overcast sky and late-morning light weren’t ideal, but the barn was something to see.
“The golden hour for taking pictures is later in the afternoon, and I thought this isn’t going to come out because the lighting’s not good, but I was just thrilled with it,” Archuleta says.
As it turned out, the bluish-grey and white clouds blended nicely with the barn’s metal roof and whitewashed wood siding, and the brown wheat field that surrounds the barn made for a soft pastoral frame.
According to the Washington Heritage Barn Registry, the farm’s original owner, Vic Lauritzen, hired two builders from Denmark to come to Wilbur, and they spent two years constructing it by hand. The two weathervanes atop the roof are inscribed with the date 1918. The barn housed horses and cows, and the top floor was used for hay storage. The barn still stores feed and equipment to this day.
Wilbur is in Lincoln County and had thriving Danish community from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, when roughly a quarter of the inhabitants were first- or second-generation Danes.
– Written by Victor Whitman