THE VALLEY VISTA RANCH BARN
Nestled on a slope between the hillside and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks at Cocolalla Flats is the large Valley Vista Ranch barn. This 65-year-old barn has been a local landmark since its construction.
Charles and Marian Mase relocated from Montana to the Cocolalla area in the early 1900’s. Mase was an engineer by trade and quickly found work running the trains at the ice house on Cocolalla Lake. In 1909 he filed for a homestead on some property near Cocolalla. The ice harvesting business ended in the late 1920’s with the invention of the refrigerator. Mase resorted to farming and in 1929 purchased the property where the barn now sits.
Charles and his two sons, William and Frank, became accomplished barn builders for the area. However, the Valley Vista Ranch barn was not erected until ten years after the death of Charles in 1939.
After the death of their father, William, his wife and his brother, Frank, continued to live on the land in Cocolalla Valley as dairy farmers. Early 1949 in between farm duties they cut trees from the property and hauled the logs to a field near the railroad tracks. A man that operated a portable sawmill was hired to cut 78,000 board feet of lumber from those trees. The boards were stacked to dry and a neighbor hauled the lumber to Coeur d’Alene for planing. The Mase brothers started construction in the spring of 1949 and the barn was completed by late summer. The 32 x 120 foot barn is long and narrow with a gambrel roof and flaring eaves. The loft is large enough to store 250 tons of loose hay.
Though the ranch was sold in the 1980’s, the new property owners have kept the the barn in it’s original style. In March 2010 the Federal Highway Administration and Idaho Transportation Department planned upgrades on US 95 through the corridor from Chilco to Sagle. There was a possibility that the Valley Vista Ranch would be affected. An Environmental Impact Statement was completed and on June 30, 2010 the decision was made to use a route that will avoid the Valley Vista barn, Cocolalla school and Bond farm that are all considered part of our history.
Today the large red with white trim barn sits proudly on the hill overlooking Cocolalla Flats and the valley beyond.