Our rustic farm venue is located on the beautiful, small community of Fir Island, WA. The Saltbox Barn is currently the only event venue located on Fir Island. We warmly welcome guests for any occasion and look forward to working with our clients to create a memorable affair.
A metal sun by Arnie Garborg greets visitors at the front of the woodshop
We are conveniently located minutes from Interstate 5 but you will feel the rural atmosphere once you arrive to the Island (accessible by bridge). The trilateral Fir Island is carved by the Skagit River forks, concluding the river’s journey into the Skagit Bay. The river delta not only creates idyllic agricultural crops but a picturesque, art inspiring setting. Fir Island is the scenic route to the Skagit Valley tulip fields and is a necessary visit for any bird watchers who love the seasonal Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans.
Our classic, saltbox barn oversees hundreds of acres of protected farmland. The cattail lined Kikiallus Slough idles parallel to the east of the property providing a waterfront view with the historic and pastoral Fir- Conway Lutheran Church emerging beyond the slough. Visitors can expect to see agricultural crops in rotation ranging from flowering potatoes to soaring corn stalks- all making for beautiful photo backdrops.
Snow Geese visiting the Saltbox Barn
There are many types of birds who stop by to sing their songs including migrating aviators such as snow geese and trumpeter swans; giant raptors: bald & golden eagles, owls, and various types of hawks, multiple types of waterfowl including ducks and great blue herons, and the epitomical barn birds; sparrows, red winged blackbirds, starlings, finches and more. In the evening guests can be charmed by a chorus of crickets and frogs in the slough while making s’mores or relaxing by our custom firepit. The summer sunsets are breathtaking, with Mount Eerie in the distance. The steep sided peaks of the Olympic Mountains tower over the west on a clear day.
The property adapts beautifully to each season and is always full of life. We hope to see you soon at The Saltbox Barn on Fir Island.
ABOUT US- THE FACES BEHIND THE BARN
We’re Brock and Katie, owners of the Saltbox Barn on Fir Island. We are second generation wedding proprietors. Brock grew up on this property (which connects to his childhood home) his mother, Jan Johnson owned and operated the renowned Larkspur Farm, a flower farm and wedding venue. Jan is a local treasure, adored by many in the valley and beyond! We’ve learned everything there is to know about this business, the land & property, the history and aesthetics from her. She’s often at the barn with us working, designing every detail and adding her unique, high quality touches to the property! We make a great team and our goal is to provide our clients with an amazing experience on their big day while keeping the inspiration of art and nature present in all that we do.
When you book with us you get more than just a venue. You aren’t just a date on a calendar or a name on a contract, we truly value you and the relationship we build during this process. We have enjoyed the connections we have made by getting to know our clients and their families, learning about their love story and helping them create the “best day ever”. We strive to give amazing customer service to all and go above and beyond for you and your event. The relationship we create with our clients is one reason we love our job so much, we learn their family dynamics, we see the bonding, we watch as friends step up and help out and it’s all such an honor to be a part of. Our small town values and love for community are reflected in the way we run our business and treat our wonderful clients- whether you’re a local, from a big city or from out of state.
FOR LOVERS OF HISTORY
The Saltbox Barn is located just west of the church
Like a lot of the land on Fir Island, this property was purchased from the Kikalius Indian tribe and has stayed within the same family since the 1800s. The Norwegian pioneers who purchased it from the Kikialius Tribe donated portions of the land to the church and its parsonage.
In the late 1800s/early 1900s, the property looked vastly different with all different barns than there are now and a house. The slough was twice as big and provided abundant fish.
Sometime during the 1930s or 40s the property was turned into a dairy complete with the big saltbox style barn and a milking parlor. After going through a few ownerships on the family tree the property was passed on to local artist Arnie Garborg.
Arnie was well known in the art community- his sculptures and woodworkings can be found all over the Skagit Valley, The Pacific Northwest and even Norway.
The saltbox barn became Arnie’s metal/welding shop and the milking parlor became his woodshop. He created most of his work here and the property served as a muse and studio to many of his friends and colleagues including Richard Gilkey and Paul Havas. The property is ornamented with pieces of Arnie’s collection including sculptures, décor and the custom fire pit, in fact, if it is something on the property and it is made out of metal, he probably welded it.