Duvall's historic Dougherty Farmstead had a good reason to celebrate the recent Labor Day holiday weekend, as some of the farm's century-old buildings were prepped and preserved with new coats of paint. The labor for this Labor Day makeover came courtesy of members of the Duvall Historical Society (DHS) and their supporters from the community, including local Scouts.
Among the farm buildings worked on was the Bunkhouse, still standing strong after approximately 110 years. In the early 1900s, this building helped widow Kate Dougherty provide for her family of eight children. The resourceful mother rented beds in the building for a reasonable rate to house and feed up to eight loggers harvesting lumber from the nearby forests of Cherry Valley. Before adding the fresh coating, volunteers scraped old flaking paint away to reveal the bare surface of some of the original vintage cedar siding.
Despite challenges presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic, this volunteer event provided members of the community an opportunity to give back, while keeping safety in mind. Event organizers asked volunteers to observe social distancing, wear masks, and also managed limitations around group size. The group came prepared with safety kit items including masks, gloves, and sanitizer.
When asked why the group decided to proceed with the project, Historical Society President Marilyn 'Country' Roney said, "We are confident in our COVID-19 safety plan and our preparations. We are working outside with the necessary six-foot in distance between us. And we trusted the self-disciplined volunteers to do their part."
Roney was pleased to have some local youth turn out to help.
"Seeing young people contribute shows they have heart, learning selflessness, dedication and hard work," she said. "Instilling these values early will only benefit our future community."
The landmark is important to the local Scouts, who say they have grown up driving past the Dougherty house and wanted to do their part to preserve it.
"Historical sites like the Dougherty Farm are important to the history of the area," said Trail Sammarco from BSA Troop 909. "Every generation needs to part of the preservation effort if we want these sites to last.
"Being a Scout has helped me realize that I don't just like doing volunteer work because it makes me look good. I do it because it's the right thing to do as an American citizen and it helps to build a community and connect with other people."
The Dougherty House is no stranger to pandemics. The farmhouse was built in 1888. It was only a year old when the Russian Flu hit in 1889-1890 and was more seasoned for the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920. Both of them traveled the globe and made their own mark on the society of that time, including the Duvall area.
The Historical Society offers its thanks to all who helped make the work party a success, including volunteers, the city of Duvall, and funding provided by the King County 4Culture program.
This work also marks continuing efforts from local Scouts to contribute to the site, including the recent addition of the dog park, completed by Eagle Scout Ikaika Ward of Troop 745.
DHS members said the pandemic has ignited a strong interest in their work from followers on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more, stop by the Dougherty Farmstead historic landmark on Cherry Valley Road, and visit the Duvall Historical Society website (www.duvallhistoricalsociety.org).
The site showcases stories, video tours, and a self-guided history tour of Duvall. All of which are able to be enjoyed in a safe and socially distanced manner.