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Platt Barn

Known historically as the Platt Farm, the nominated property was largely undeveloped until it was purchased by brothers, John and Steve Platt, in approximately 1906. The brothers expanded their farm, purchasing neighboring lots by 1910, and split the property between their two families by 1920, leaving the subject farm to John, his wife, Effie, and their children. Their first home was built in 1906,a small two-room cabin was built in 1915, and the only house which remains (the 1903 house) was moved to the property in 1928. While the Platts owned the property, there were numerous outbuildings and sheds and three homes on the property. The Platts grew hay and silage on the property and stored it in the barn and silo. The homes and barn(s) were oriented towards the river since SR 203 did not become a state road until 1915 and dairy products had to be transported to the creamery quickly by steamboat. The Platts lived and ran the dairy here until the early 1940s when the farm was sold to Fern Collette, a single mother from Alaska who was new to the area. Fern milked a herd of a approximately twenty cows and is responsible for the updates to the ha barn’s northern lean-to, the new milk house, and manure storage system built in the late 1940s. She ran the dairy with the help of farmhand, Gearge Newell. While she did have help, Fern was involved in every decision and most of the labor on the farm. Neighbors say she would usually begin the milking each morning and George would come finish and lug the heavy milk jugs into the milk house; she would then work at the tavern all day, come home and begin the evening milking and then go back and work at the tavern until midnight. Initially, the creamery would pick up ten gallon milk jugs from the farm at the road. During floods, Fern would row them in a boat up to SR 203 and row between the house and barn to get milk. Later, Fern installed a large holding tank in the milk house; by this time the milk was picked up by tanker trucks. She may have had a system by then which pumped the milk directly into the milk house’s holding tank.