Few buildings in Ferndale host as much history as does the Carnation Oxford Building. Initially built in 1918 on 6 acres sold by John Slater (1865-1932) to the Mount Vernon Condensery Company, the building was built to house the Mount Vernon Creamery.(1)
Later, it become one of the many Carnation Condenseries in northwest Washington.
As Carnation came to use less and less of the facility, they began to rent out parts to other businesses. One of the first was a potato farm needing storage for their 20 to 30 tons of potatoes. They moved in during 1939.
Firestone leased the building from Carnation during the early 1940s (WWII) to make self-sealing rubber linings for airplane fuel tanks used in the war.
In the late 1960s, the building became known as Ferndale Manufacturing and was home to several tenants involved in different industrial businesses. Notable among them was Oxford and Sons Potatoes, Northstar Woodworks Inc, International Athletics, Pacifica Crafts and Arrowac Fisheries.
The 120-foot smokestack wrapped in the American Flag serves as a very visible and patriotic Ferndale landmark. It has had the flag painted on it twice and by different artists each time. It was first painted during the first Gulf War under President G.H. Bush then the second time during the Afghan & Iraq war under President George W. Bush.
Today, both floors of the Carnation Oxford Building, 1920 Main Street, house several businesses engaged in everything from professional services to light manufacturing. Areas that used to be used for the creamery processes and offices have been remodeled to provide attractive and functional office and work spaces of various sizes.
It has been or still is home for such notable businesses as Ocean Kayak, Northstar Woodworks Inc, Chuckanut Cheesecake Inc, Pel Meni’, Barb’s Pastries & Pies, Kaiser Woodworks, Island Sproutworks, Tripillows, D’Annas Commercial kitchen, Butler Design Inc, Everyday Fitness, Transition Bikes and Ferndale Floors Inc.