Relatives and descendants of early Oak Harbor Dutch settler and farmer Henry Riksen visited Naval Air Station Whidbey Island on March 18, 2014, to see their ancestral family homestead.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Navy bought several farms in Clover Valley on Whidbey Island to build a new landplane base that eventually become known as Ault Field. Dr. Kendall Campbell, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Whidbey Archaeologist and Cultural Resource Manager, hosted the visitors to see the house and barn still standing not far from Langley Blvd.
The house, owned by Public Private Venture partners Forest City Residential Management, has not been in use for the past year due to its age and extensive upkeep needed for habitation. Forest City and the Navy are working with the local community and Washington State to determine its potential historic value.
Riksen came to Whidbey Island in September 1895 through a promotion project for the settlement of Washington by the Great Northern Railroad. His family joined him after he purchased 60 acres in Clover Valley.