- Parks and Facilities
Nakashima Heritage Barn North Trailhead
Subfacility of Centennial Trail
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The Nakashima Heritage Barn North Trailhead anchors the north end of the popular 30-mile paved Centennial Trail in Snohomish County. The historic red barn still stands at the trailhead park along with a “History Quilt” with photos of the land in its various uses through the years from forest to mill site to farm. The trailhead has plenty of parking available (including ADA spaces and a trailer parking lot adjacent to the equestrian trail), a portable restroom (closed and winterized Nov-March) and some benches to relax and take in the view. Learn about the trail, the history of the land, and the Nakashima family from interpretive signage along the trail.
See our land acknowledgment here. Farming operations began here in the 1900s by Daniel Waldo Bass and his wife Sophie. Sophie’s grandfather was A. A. Denny, the “Father of Seattle,” who landed at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. In 1937, Bass sold the farm to Japanese-American Takeo Nakashima. The Nakashima family continued a dairy operation on the property.
In 1942, the Nakashima family was sent to internment camps in Idaho and California and was forced to sell their farm. Over the years, the farm changed hands many times and dairying operations eventually ceased. In 1997, the Trust for Public Land purchased 89 acres of the farm including the only remaining structure, the barn, and turned it over to the county to become a park. In 2007, the barn was listed on Washington’s heritage barn register, becoming the state’s first and only one so far belonging to an Asian-American farming family.
The trailhead was dedicated in November 2012 to the hard-working Nakashima family who once owned the land. The barn, which was built circa 1908, is listed on the Washington State Heritage Barn Registry. In conjunction with the trailhead opening, the Snohomish County Arts Commission, through the 1% for the arts program, commissioned the installation of several large historical photos on the exterior of the barn.
Several county departments and agencies are working collaboratively to develop a restoration plan for the barn, incorporating general community uses, historical displays, and recreation/interpretive programming space. Since time and resources are needed to make such improvements, Snohomish County is searching for grants and/or funding sources. Professionals are welcome to donate time to perform structural analysis and propose design improvements.