Recycling Caskets….is that taking it too far?

What a great time of the year.  I love the season change, the Great Pumpkin and watching the leaves swirl around in the wind.    You are probably wondering what caskets have in common with Goebel Hill Farm.  As I’ve mentioned before, the barn had seen better days when we bought the farm back in 2008.  When we arrived it was packed with stuff inside, outside, and under the side shed.  TONS……OF…..STUFF.  In retrospect, I think all that stuff actually helped keep the barn standing.  It couldn’t move!

Barn at Goebel Hill Farm in 2008

We spent several years recycling and finding new homes for all of the treasures hidden in the side shed.  We found a Lister diesel engine, which now powers a restored tugboat and a John Deere diesel engine that is now back home inside a vintage John Deere tractor.  There was a set of mysterious car parts stacked to the ceiling that turned out to be the complete body of a 1948 Buick Roadmaster, and the infamous 1956 Buick Wagon snuggled right up next to the barn.  You can read more about that here.  The list goes on!

The sideshed at Goebel Hill Farm in 2009.

Now here’s where the caskets come in….our 94 year old barn is listed on the Washington State Heritage Barn Register.  One day I opened an email announcing the opportunity to apply for salvaged building materials located at the Port of Everett to be used on historic projects.  We applied and were accepted and that’s how Goebel Hill Farm became part of the resurrection of the Collins Casket Company, a building that sat proudly on the Everett waterfront for more than 70 years while workers cranked out caskets to serve the masses.  I guess somebody’s gotta do it.
We were awarded huge old-growth Douglas Fir timbers of a quality and size of lumber that is rare today.  Some of the beams were over 30 feet long! We transported, unloaded and removed nails and steel pins from the Collins Building beams and posts. After scrutinizing our haul, we then re-loaded and transported the smaller posts over to Link at Lindberg Lumber Mill in Lake Stevens and he cut them into thirds for the roof rafters.  Once we got them home again, we gently pressure-washed each beam and stripped the red paint off the old fire station posts.

Almost done unloading the Collins Casket Company beams!  

Rough cut lumber milled for rafters for the side shed roof.

Rebuilding the side shed with beams salvaged from the Collins Casket Company.

We now have the best new/old side shed in the land thanks to many talented people including Fred and Esa Anderson at Anderson Trucking; the guys at the Port of Everett; Jeff Nelson of Nelson Engineering; Link at Lindberg Lumber; and Wayne Perrigoue of Perrigoue Construction, Inc.

This summer the wedding party celebrated under the new/old side shed built from the recycled beams of the Collins Casket Company.  Nothing spooky about it!  We invite you to be part of our project and make your own history here at our farm.  Our peaceful flower farm is available to rent for weddings and celebrations.  Have a spectacular Halloween and thank you for your interest in Goebel Hill Farm.

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