History

The Buckner Homestead Historic District, near Stehekin, Washington in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area incorporates a group of structures relating to the theme of early settlement in the Lake Chelan area. Representing a time period of over six decades, from 1889 to the 1950s, the district comprises 15 buildings, landscape structures and ruins, and over 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land planted in orchard and criss-crossed by hand-dug irrigation ditches. The oldest building on the farm is a cabin built in 1889. The Buckner family bought the farm in 1910 and remained there until 1970, when the property was sold to the National Park Service. The Buckner Cabin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The rest of the Buckner farm became a historic district in 1989. Today, the National Park Service maintains the Buckner homestead and farm as an interpretive center to give visitors a glimpse at pioneer farm life in the Stehekin Valley.

Read more about the Buckner Homestead Historic District and the Buckner family >>

 

Time Line

Information provided by the Buckner and Garfoot families. Early dates taken from a NPS interview with Harry Buckner in 1974.

1910 William Van and May Buckner of Hanford, California purchased the Buzzard
Homestead, 149 acres, from Bill Buzzard on Nov. 20, 1910
1911 Van and May return to Stehekin in early spring with son, Frank, age 19. Sons
Carroll ,17 and Harry, 15 came in May. They brought supplies and seedlings to plant
an orchard and built a diversion ditch from Rainbow Ck. for irrigation. The path with
bridges was built beside the ditch, presently called Buckner Lane.
1912 Stone fireplace built on the original Buzzard (1890) cabin. Outdoor laundry structure
built next to a water box.
1913 Sleeping cabins built.
1914 The Buckner house, one of the sleeping cabins, was doubled in size and became
Frank and Irene Buckner’s house. This was the start of 5 stages of construction over
45 years.
1915 Old wagon road built, crossing Rainbow Creek near the present day Gans cabin. A
new barn, wagon shed and smokehouse (later to become the Delco house) built.
1915-1916 Harry Buckner, age 20, spent his first winter on the ranch, alone part of the
winter. Frank and Irene went back to California for some of the winter. All of the
family but Harry went back to California for the winters every year.
1916 Root cellar and milk separator house built.
1917 Harry Buckner married Olive Field, daughter of M.E and Mattie Field, owners of the
Field Hotel. More orchard was planted in the west and north fields, bringing the total
to 52 acres.
1918 June, Harry was drafted into the army and sent to France during World War I. Frank’s
wife Irene died in California during the flu epidemic while he was in Stehekin. He went
back to California and never returned to live on the ranch.
1919 Daughter, Irene Myra was born to Harry and Olive in Mar. and Harry returned from the
War in May.
1920 Swimming pool and sundial built.
1921 Packing Shed foundation built. Daughter, Harriet Olive (Hobbie) was born.
1922 Packing shed finished.
1924 Playhouse built. Final 30 acres of orchard planted.
1926 Daughter, Elizabeth Joy (Bucky) was born.
1946 Shop (behind Buzzard cabin) built.
1948 Olive Buckner passed away.
1953-1954 Packing shed collapsed from snow load.
1954 Harry married Lena Ward
1956 Harry became the Stehekin Postmaster.
1966 Harry received award for 50 years of volunteer Stehekin weather
observations for the Environmental Science Services Administration.
1970 Harry and Lena sold 108 acres of the original homestead, including all the buildings
and orchard to the National Park Service.
1970 Phil and Wendy Garfoot moved onto the homestead, maintaining the site, raising
their family, and making it their home. They frequently shared and hosted community
events-weddings, graduations, retirements, birthdays, memorials, and cider making
over the past 40 years.
1974 The original Buzzard log homestead cabin was listed on the National Register as a
historic place. Son, Brun Garfoot was born.
1976 Harry passed away.
1978 Daughter, Liv Garfoot was born.
1984 Lena (Harry's second wife) passed away.
1989 The Buckner orchard and remaining buildings were designated a historic district.
1996 Laurie Thompson was hired by the NPS to work at the Buckner Homestead
to preserve the apple trees and the orchard.
2000 Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation was established.
2007 Irene Buckner Sargo passed away. Phil Garfoot retired from the NPS.
2009 The first annual Buckner Homestead Harvest Festival was held in Oct.
2010 Phil Garfoot passed away. Buckner Homestead Centennial Kick-Off and 2nd annual
Harvest Fest in Oct.
2011 Buckner Orchard Centennial