Historic barn sees brighter future in Sequim

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by MEG COYLE/KING 5 NEWS

KING5.com

Posted on February 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 8 at 4:23 PM

SEQUIM, Wash. -- It’s already known for its lavender festival. But longtime residents in the community of Sequim have craved a unique venue for things like weddings, parties, and high school dances. Now they’re getting their wish.

With every cut, every screw, every beam, workers here are re-shaping history. Charlie Steel remembers the first time he saw this place. It was as if he’d found God.

“It looks like a cathedral, it’s beautiful. All the ribs and the structure, yeah. It was just very beautiful,” said Steel.

He knew, right then and there, “I’ve gotta have it. So that’s when I started the whole thing.”

Steel had bought the farm. And with it, a big red barn built in 1934, securing a piece of Sequim’s past with no intention of letting it go.

“My wife said, ‘you know what we should do, we should build a glass house inside there so we can live in it and be able to see all that structure,’” Steel said.

With the glass house plans firmly in place, Charlie went ahead and ordered 130 panels of glass. But then, plans changed. It was a wedding. A woman had dropped by their adjacent farmhouse asking if her daughter could get married there.

“After that wedding we said, you know, this barn is meant to have parties,’” Steel said.

Sherre Mariolle sold the barn to the Steels hoping it would stay, but also knowing it might go: “I started praying that someone would buy the place who would love it and take care of it.”

Mariolle’s prayers were answered. Sequim’s big red barn has a bright future.

“We’re really excited about the fact we’ll be able to share it with the community,” said Steel.

All the glass panels originally meant for the house will soon support a wrap-around railing. The next wedding is already on the books for August.

Steel figures he’s spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on renovating and retrofitting the barn. He has partnered with Mariolle to host community events in the future.
 

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