The Inaugural Dance
Before Deception Pass Bridge connected us to the main land, James A Neil chartered a boat from Everett to bring an orchestra for a barn warming party and dance to celebrate the largest barn on the west coast. The barn was built from timbers from James Neil's own logging company from timber all around Whidbey Island. The barn warming party took place in 1913 and attracted people from all over the island. Neil's wife and neighbors gathered in the kitchen days before to prepare roast beef and ham. The party was a huge success! After the party, Neil used the barn for agricultural purposes. Dairy cows filled the basement while stacks of hay filled the very floor the roller rink would be built on in 1950. Neil raised peas, hay, and grain to feed his logging horses and cattle. The barn built by Otto Van Dyk would be the first curved roof barn on the island and the largest structure Mr. Van Dyk would build.