Historical Crossroads: The Hindman Barn

May 22, 2019
In honor of historic preservation month, we continue to celebrate the beginnings and look forward to the future of Central Oregon.


Camp Polk Meadow has been a historical crossroads for thousands of years. From early traditional use, through homesteading, to its current era as a wildlife refuge, Camp Polk Meadow continues to be a place where the community comes together to share and honor its resources. Today, we can still see what remains of the Hindman family Barn and Home. 

It is easy to imagine the Hindman Barn standing as a statement in a still wild land.

Travel through time with these photos to take a glimpse into the history of the Hindman Barn and see how it stands today. Gratefully adapted and reprinted with permission from Martin Winch's 'Biography of a Place.' 

Looking at Central Oregon today, it can be hard to imagine the early settlers and wild landscape of our past. Visitors of Camp Polk Meadow can travel back in time stepping through the doorways and posts of the historic Hindman Barn. Looking at the axe grooves in the barn's beams or stone foundation shows a glimpse into the reality of what it meant to build a barn and live on the land in 1870. Whether it is thinking about the daily activities that may have happened within the Hindman Home or looking up to the remains of the Hindman Barn, we can see the changes that have happened in our community. As Central Oregon continues to grow and we face challenges like climate change we can think back to the resilience and knowledge of the peoples who have come before us to inform and inspire our future.

Join the Land Trust to dive deeper into the history of the Hindman Family and early settlements in Central Oregon on one of our upcoming Walks + Hikes. Explore the same lands from long ago and discover the history of this place and learn more about our plans for its future.

Many thanks to the following for their help with this Camp Polk Meadow history project: The Oregon Community Foundation Oregon Historical Trails Fund, the Roundhouse Foundation, and private donors. Martin Winch and his amazing book Biography of a Place. Carol Wall for researching and sharing the Hindman family story with our community. Jan Hodgers for sharing her personal photos of the Hindmans at Camp Polk Meadow. Ed Barnum for sharing his original architectural drawings and photos of the Hindman Barn. The Deschutes County Historical Society and Bowman Museum for help with research and photography.

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