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Home barged from BC to 3 Crabs in Dungeness

SEQUIM — Martha Vaughan has made her biggest rescue yet — a house.

The owner of Fox-Bell Weddings and Events in Port Angeles saw four-plus years of effort come to fruition last week when Nickel Bros, a house moving business from Everett, brought her new home via barge from Surrey, BC, to Dungeness along 3 Crab Road.

“It feels surreal,” she said late on the night of June 8.

“I had a beautiful home before and it makes me happy to replace it.”

On Dec. 18, 2017, firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 responded to 9-1-1 calls for her previous home, a vacation rental by owner, that caught fire on the 200 block of 3 Crabs Road.

Assistant Fire Chief Dan Orr said that night it was fully involved in flames and no one was home at the time.

Vaughan was anticipating renters in the coming days, Orr said.

“(The fire was) devastating and broke my heart,” Vaughan said, adding that profits from the rental went to supporting her efforts to rescue animals between Fox-Bell Weddings and Events and Fox-Bell Farm at 136 Finn Hall Road. But she plans to help more animals with the new home, too.

Vaughan estimates having about 50 rescue horses along with many other animals, such as dogs, goats and even a turkey.

“Since the initial shock, I’ve been working on (replacing the house) ever since,” she said.

“I’m a huge rescuer. This makes so much sense for it not to be demolished and not in a landfill.”

The home

The mid-1980s, approximately 4,000-square-foot, two-story home comes from inland Surrey, east of Vancouver, BC

Vaughan said the home was set for demolition before she and Nickel Bros stepped in, and she bought it without visiting it.

She said the property was so valuable that the previous owner preferred to build a new rather than remodel the home.

Jeff McCord, a house rescuer with Nickel Bros, said, “It’s remarkable she’s doing this.”

He said by upcycling the home, she’s saving more than a hundred trees and a house “with a lot of life left in it.”

McCord estimated her move is about half the cost of building a new home amid labor shortages and rising costs.

To make possible the move from British Columbia to Clallam County, crews lifted it off its foundation, placed it on a truck, brought it to a barge, shipped it to Dungeness and placed the house at its new home along the beach.

Crews had to wait for high tide and began unloading it around 11:30 pm June 8, and they worked into the next morning to place it.

Prior, crews placed dozens of plywood sheets hundreds of feet so vehicles could travel above the sand unimpeded.

Vaughan said, for her, the legwork in recent months was working on permitting, and everyone from county officials to Nickel Bros has been “really on board.”

Said Vaughn: “I had to jump through so many hoops, but I made it.”

For the next year, she said, Vaughn plans to live at the home as she remodels it. Her hope de ella is to open it back up for rentals in the next year with profits helping rescued horses and animals again.

Her daughter, Shelby Vaughan, who operates Fox-Bell Farm, said: “There are very few people who could do what my mom does for animals.”

For updates, Vaughan says to check


Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

Brian Pace In about a year, Martha Vaughan anticipates reopening her vacation rental to support rescue horses and other animals through her Fox-Bell Weddings and Event. In about a year, Martha Vaughan anticipates reopening her ella vacation rental to support rescue horses and other animals through her ella Fox-Bell Weddings and Event. (Photo courtesy of Brian Pace)

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