The barn was built around 1932 or 1934. During various stages of its life, it has been a dairy farm barn, a horse barn, a storage building, and even was home to hootenanny/revival meetings held on the barn stage in the 60’s.
The farm property was purchased in May of 1998 by Susan Gansert-Shaw and her husband Mike. The barn was in pretty bad shape — leaking roof, unstable structure — and included a resident raccoon sunning himself in the barn cupola. The property included 10 acres, a little old farmhouse and a large field.
The first step to the barn rehab was to stabilize the structure by burying a dead man in the south of the barn just outside the big barn door and pulling the barn 18” to the south. Section by section the barn was systemically raised, leveled and reinforced and a foundation poured. It was sometime during this time that the idea of a studio on the west side (where a manger presently existed) would work.
Retaining the existing 2 X 6 rafters, a new roof was completed and with a new roof on the cupola, the raccoon was evicted! Whenever possible recycled materials from various sources were used; siding from the demolition of the Snow Creek Ranch Barn and the rest from a partially burned house in Agnew. Windows came from an old house in Quilcene; one on the north studio was recycled from the house; and recycled windows from Fort Worden.
The barn has housed Mike’s family reunion of 101 people, a country music event with local musicians, a set of colorful youth murals created in celebration of a granddaughter’s birthday gatherings, the open studio tour for the last five years and the awards banquet for the Future Farmers of America. And the beat goes on at Rock Hollow Farm!