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  • To preserve and sustain the unique character of the Little Spokane River Valley, including it's open space and natural setting.
  • To maintain lower density zoning.
  • To protect the area's ecosystem including water quality, wetlands, priority habitat and wildlife, and dwindling native vegetation.
  • To encourage the development of area parks and natural areas.
  • To educate public officials of the concerns of the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley, and be pro-active when major issues are at the forefront.

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    Welcome to the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley

    Oldest Barn in Spokane County?
    by W.G. Magnuson, Jr.
    Around 1879 two Dart brothers moved to the Spokane area from Minnesota. Later they were joined by two younger brothers. They were Lafayette, Herb, Curt, and George Dart. They settled along the Little Spokane River about one half mile down river from the present Wandermere golf course. The area where they located has since become known as Dartford. The Dart brothers built a sawmill in 1882 in Dartford just upstream from the 2001 bridge crossing the Little Spokane River.

    The sawmill was followed by the construction of a gristmill and then later by homes followed even later, in the 1920s, by a service station, a store with a post office, and a flour and feed store. Early on, in 1883, the family house and barn were built one block south of the bridge on Minihdoka Trail. The image below is a picture of the barn. This picture was taken about 1969 when the barn was 'only' 86 years old. The picture is from the book Vanished Gristmills (1978) by Florence E. Sherfey and the picture was provided by George T. Dart III.

    In 2002 Merrilee and James Lane purchased the property and the barn. Time and weather had taken it's toll on the barn and winds had blown most of the roofing off. A decision needed to be made: Take the barn down or fix the roof. The Lanes felt an urge to preserve history and the decision to repair the roof was made. The repair task under way is shown in the image below.

    The barn now has a new roof. Many of the rafters needed replacing and other repairs such as straightening the walls were made during the process. Image below shows the current barn.

    The Lane (Dart) barn may be the oldest surviving barn in Spokane county - 128 years 'young.' Next is further restoration including windows, siding repair, and painting - Are there any 'barn volunteers' with a paint brush?' magnuson@ieee.org.

    © 2009 - 2019 Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley