BROWNINGTON – Want to learn about timber framing? Then make your way to the Old Stone House this week where volunteers are building a barn.
The barn will resemble one that stood on the property just after the Old Stone House was built, until 1924 when the Orleans County Historical Society purchased the building.
Directors at the time thought the barn was unsightly.
Today’s members don’t know who purchased the wood or where it went. They do know they need a barn to house an exhibit that tells the history of Farming in Orleans County.
“We have a lot of antique farm equipment that we want to display,” said Museum Director Peggy Day Gibson.
Jessie Mitchell, whose husband ran WS Mitchell Farm Supply Store in Newport for many years, left the museum $130,000. “Half of it was to go to the Old Stone House Farm Museum, which was exactly what we were starting to plan for, because we have so much equipment that we don’t have room to display it.”
Museum directors have been planning the barn since January. Allen Yale, who donated all of the wood from his Derby property, did much of the cutting and milling of the timbers. However, he did have some help from North Country Career Center students. In April, area elementary school students made the pegs that will secure the joints in the timber frames.
“We went around to elementary schools and talked to them about timber frames, old barns and Vermont architecture,” said museum director Peggy Day Gibson. “We’ve been at this for a long time.”
Many of volunteers working on the project are members of the Timber Framers Guild.
“We love doing this stuff,” said Makio Maher, of the Green Mountain Fence Company. “We have a passion for wood and timber framing.”
Flyod McDermitt from Ramburne, AL, came to Orleans County to learn about timber framing and hopes he can teach the skills to other family members, like his grandchildren.
Alan Peoples, who lives San Francisco, heard about the barn-raising while in Boston.
“I enjoy timber farming,” he said. “It’s a just a nice way of building.”
Mary Bechard of Pittsfield, NH, is working with her husband, who is a member of the Timber Framers Guild. They plan on using what they learn to build a house.
“I’m learning a lot about peeling bark,” she said.
The public is encouraged to attend the barn raising June 9. There will also be a barbecue and blue grass music.