2008 Washington State Endangered Historic Properties — Ridgefield's Kapus Farmstead

On May 27, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation representatives were in Tacoma to announce its annual list of Washington State’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The list dates back to 1992, and aims to raise awareness of historic properties that face demolition by redevelopment or neglect. Over the past 16 years, according to the organization, Washington Trust has placed nearly 100 threatened sites nominated by concerned citizens and organizations across the state. The organization also assists historic preservation advocates in developing strategies aimed at removing these threats.

This year’s list was presented during a press conference on the bridge deck of the 95-year-old Murray Morgan Bridge, which was one of seven endangered historic properties for 2008.

Beginning Monday, the Index has published a profile of each endangered property, as compiled by Washington Trust.

Here is what the Washington Trust had to say about Kapus Farmstead in Ridgefield, Clark County.

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Settled in the 1880s, the Kapus Farm evokes the feeling of an early-twentieth century farmstead, and is unique as one of the few relatively intact complexes of farm buildings remaining in Clark County. The farm retains the 1888 farmhouse, but most of the structures on site date from circa 1929 when a live-in carpenter was employed to modernize the farm. During this time, he remodeled the farmhouse and constructed a water tower, garage, and outhouse, all of which remain at the site. The water tower is especially unique being a four-story, wood-frame structure with a gabled roof still housing the original 2,500-gallon wooden water tank.

As part of its expansion plans, Southwest Washington Health System purchased the Kapus Farm property in March of 2007. Unaware that the 1.5 acre farm parcel was a designated historic site listed in the Clark County Heritage Register, the company’s plan included leveling the entire site for a medical services and retail development. After learning of the site’s significance, Southwest Washington Health System has been working with the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission to identify parties interested in moving the farm structures to another site in Ridgefield in order to retain an agricultural/rural context for the buildings.

For more information, visit http://www.wa-trust.org .