The United States Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana, the Boy Scouts of America youth organization is incorporated by William D. Boyce, and the Fresno Junior College (Fresno City College) is established. Down at Riverview Ranch on Old Friant Road cows were being milked in the dairy barn.

Fast forward… the year is 2002. The River Center on Old Friant Road recently opened as an interpretive center about the San Joaquin River. The first day of public visits included lines out the front door of the house as hundreds of people came to see the new facility on the San Joaquin River Parkway. The board of the River Parkway Trust, excited about expanding operations at the River Center, began to look at plans to reuse the historic dairy barn as part of the interpretive center to introduce people to the cultural and natural history of the San Joaquin River.

Unfortunately, estimates to stabilize the dilapidated structure came in at well over a million dollars. The Trust’s board decided that it was not ready to make such an investment at that time.

Now fast forward to 2015…donors who wish to remain anonymous met with the Trust’s executive director and expressed their interest in completing the dairy barn. After consultation with several architects, the Trust determined that it was necessary to reconstruct the barn rather than rehabilitate the previous structure. And so the project began.

Fast forward… the year is 2018. After several years of planning and permitting, and slightly more than 6 months of construction the new barn is complete and ready to function as a group gathering area both for school field trips and for special events.

You can be a part of this story. Join us for the barn ribbon cutting on November 15, 2018.

Special guests will include the Fort Washington Elementary school choir and architect Michael Boudreau who will talk about the design process. After a short program at 9:30 am, guests will have the opportunity to explore the new barn and think about its role in the future of the San Joaquin River Parkway.