330 Minnie Lane
The Dexter house is an example of one of several chicken coops in Langley that were transformed into residences
1947. Aerial view (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).
Wayne and Minnie Dexter came to Langley with their son Stanley in 1946. Money and available housing were in short supply after WWII. They purchased a large chicken coop built in 1933 on property on the South side of Third Street. According to Brenda Thorn, the chicken farm may have been run by Carl Jensen.
The Dexters removed the center section of the chicken coop dividing it into a smaller portion closest to Third Street that was remodeled into their living quarters, and a larger portion that served as a storage area and shop.
Circa 1947. North portion of the Dexter chicken coop (Courtesy Min Dexter).
Circa 1948. Min Dexter hanging clothes on south side of residence (Courtesy Minnie Dexter).
Circa 1948. Min and Wayne Dexter (Courtesy Minnie Dexter).
1963. Aerial view of divided chicken coop (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).
1966. Aerial view of divided chicken coop (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).
1958. L-R: Minnie Dexter, Dorothy Mahon, Bill Steele, and Victor Primavera in the Star Store (Courtesy Anna Primavera).
According to Marcia Wiley, "Min worked at The Star Store for many years. She also was a long time volunteer with Good Cheer back when the whole operation was in downtown Langley. Min did intake of goods and was one of the Christmas Elves who put packets together for poorer families in Langley."
Circa 1960's. S.W corner of house and large garden (Courtesy Min Dexter).
"Min was a great old gal... planted her big garden every year and gave most of the produce to the GC Food Bank, was still mowing her lawn with an electric mower into her 90's, and walked downtown every day to get her mail at the PO."
Brenda Thorn recalls: "The Dexters loved to hike, and somehow took Eddie Bauer our hiking and Min said he didn't know anything."
Wayne was a contractor and worked on the South end of Whidbey Island. He died in 1990 at age 79
2004. Dexter house as seen from Third Street (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
2004. East side of Dexter house (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
Minnie Lane was officially named after Minnie Dexter on March 5, 2009.
Minnie spent the last few years of her life at Maple Ridge in Freeland where she died in 2015.
The property was purchased from Minnie by Carol McNeil and Larry Kwarsik on October 20, 2011. According to Carol, "We ripped up carpet, painted, and cleaned for days... also put in a gas fireplace stove and a heat pump. I thought it was a tear down when we bought it but Scott convinced us to keep it as affordable housing. Turns out he was exactly right."
They also removed the southern portion of the original chicken coop. "When we bought the property from Minnie, there was a small yard to the South of the red house, and then a giant barn/shed. Dirt floor and a wreck inside. There was a terrible smell. There were many old containers of pesticides and herbicides and lots of junk. Friends salvaged a few old things but mostly it was awful. Damon Arndt demolished it for us. Ground it up and took it to the landfill. I think it cost $17,000 to get rid of it and worth every penny."
2020. Northeast corner (Courtesy Robert Waterman).
2020. Southeast corner (Courtesy Robert Waterman).