Kitty Kat's big red barn has another life left in it

Kitty Kat's big red barn has another life left in it

TANGENT, Ore. - When John Bass passed away in 1983, he left the big red barn on his property and $70,000 in maintenance funds to an unlikely heir: his cat Kitty Kat.

Kitty Kat went on to live another 10 years with the help of a caretaker, then the city of Tangent took over the property after Kitty died.

Now the maintenance fund has run out and the residents in the Willamette Valley town voted down a tax levy to maintain the barn, built in 1922 by farmers Herbert and Jane Borden. Bass bought the land in 1946.

The city was planning to tear it down until Beth Timmons came along. She became determined to save the historic barn after hearing the story about Kitty Kat, the property-owning cat.

Timmons now wants to save the barn by moving it to her property about three quarters of a mile away.

The City of Tangent said great: we'll sell you the barn for a buck, you pay to move it. The move will cost Timmons thousands, but she says it's all worth it.

"I don't think we have a lot of barns like this still intact from these early days," she explained. "I think by preserving this history you preserve the history and the memory of the people in the valley that came before us."

Emmert International of Clackamas arrived on scene Friday to prepare for the Oct. 7 move. The windows have been carefully removed and labeled, although the bulk of the barn will be moved intact.

Timmons only has a limited amount of time to finish the project. If it rains, the fields will become impassable and soon farmers in the area will need to start planing.

She plans to use the barn to host fairs, markets, movies and meetings while always remembering the legacy of the barn. reporter Tom Adams contributed to this report