History of the wheel fence
Steve and Junette Dahmen bought the property at the NW corner of Uniontown in the 1950s. What began as a gate building project expanded dramatically when friends and relatives saw Steve’s fine example of folk art and kept bringing wheels. Today there are more than 1004 wheels in the fence ranging in size up to 60 inches in diameter. The fence is a landmark whose photo has been in publications such as National Geographic Magazine, and artists and photographers come from afar to use it as a subject for their work.
No longer able to maintain the barn and the surrounding fence, Steve and Junette donated the property to non-profit Uniontown Community Development Association in 2004 with the stipulation that the barn be stabilized and put to a public use, and the fence be maintained. With input from the community, UCDA decided to provide a showcase for the work of the numerous local visual and performing artists by transforming the barn into an artisan center. The entire project has been done with grants along with donations of cash and labor from enthusiastic community members. Today, in the state-of-the-art facility called Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, there are ten artist studios, a retail shop where local art and crafts are sold on consignment, classroom space and an area for concerts, performances and dances. All the studios are occupied and traffic through the barn and sales have exceeded our expectations.
How the Adopt-a-Wheel Program works
Each wheel can be adopted only once. The donor may select a wheel, or one can be assigned. Each wheel is to be marked with the donor’s name and a number. Several levels of adoption are available based on size of the wheel. There is a book kept in the barn that shows where each wheel may be found in the fence, so donors may visit their adopted wheels.
Join the Steam Engine Wheel Donor Club with a donation of $100.
You adopt a wheel with a diameter 40 to 60 inches and receive an 8 x 10 matted photo of the wheel and a certificate with the wheel’s number.
Join the Wagon Wheel Donor Club with a donation of $50.
You adopt a wheel with a diameter between 26 and 39 inches and receive a 5 x 7 matted photo of the wheel and a certificate with the wheel’s number.
Join the Buggy Wheel Donor Club with a donation of $25.
You adopt a wheel with a diameter 25 inches or less and receive a certificate with the wheel’s number. Artisans at the Dahmen Barn is a 501c(3) non profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.
You can download an adopt a wheel form in PDF format (315KB).
Send checks to:
Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, attn: Adopt a Wheel
P O Box 36
Uniontown WA 99179
or donate online:
Sustain the Barn