From parts and ingenuity of the past, Larry and Linda Person have built and maintained a small business for the present.
A large barn stands at the center of a peaceful farm, a nearly 7-acre spread off an old country road, upstream to Alvord’s Landing, where local farmers in the late 1800s and early 1900s loaded their produce onto small river boats destined for Seattle. The farm, which rests on the banks of the Green River and watches trains pass along its border, affords a peek at yesteryear’s small Green River Valley.
The Lazy River Farm embraces manicured gardens, orchards and berry patches and sits next to an old world-style distiller and tasting room. Fruit, herbs and nuts grown on the farm feed a distillery that produces hand-crafted liqueurs, brandies and specialty spirits.
“It’s a labor of love. We still love to farm,” said Larry Person, a retired man who grew up in Auburn and worked in construction for most of his life. The family has served as a careful steward of the historic farmstead in a sustainable, natural way for the past 25 years.
The family hosted tours of the farm on Sunday, part of Experience Historical Kent, a free celebration featuring special exhibits, walking and bus tours of the city’s oldest homes, churches, businesses and cemeteries. The city of Kent and the Greater Kent Historical Society helped organize the summertime program.
The Persons and their nephew, David O’Neal, built and restored the nearly 2,500-square-foot barn, the design and materials of which replicate historical barns in the valley. Doors recovered from a late-1800 barn grace the building. Chandeliers hang from inside, with long tables and chairs stretching the floor. Today, Sidetrack Distillery Barn comes to life as a spacious, public venue for weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations.
The distillery, at 27010 78th Ave. S., is open on Saturdays, or by appointment.
Learn more at sidetrackdistillery.com.
WHAT ELSE TO SEE
Free celebration featuring special exhibits, walking and bus tours of the city’s oldest homes, businesses and cemeteries. For more information, visit kentwa.gov/experiencehistoricalkent, or call 253-854-4330.
Pacific Cascade Mustang Car Show: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 18, accesso ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St. Free spectator admission and awards for 40-plus classes of cars.
Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Aug. 18, 5917 S. 196th St.
Historic Cemeteries Bus Tour: 1:30-5 p.m. Aug. 19, Kent Senior Center, 600 E. Smith St. Interested in genealogy? Hop on a free bus tour to five pioneer and one pet cemetery established in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Registration is required..
St. Anthony Chapel Open House: 2-5 p.m., Aug. 25, 304 Third Ave. S.
Kent Lutheran Church Open House: 2-5 p.m., Aug. 25, 336 Second Ave. S.