Itís not every day that an historic barn is picked up and moved to a new location, but that is exactly what happened today in Bolton. The iconic ďEast BarnĒ of the former Preston-Lafreniere property (now owned by the State as part of Camelís Hump State Park) was moved more than 60 feet to the north from its previous location at the edge of the Duxbury Road. This move was part of barn stabilization efforts currently being undertaken by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.
The East Barn is and English-style barn dating back to the early 1800ís and is one of three separate barns located on this site. The barn complex, as well as an adjacent homestead along with approximately 460 acres were acquired by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and added to Camelís Hump State Park in 1991. Funding for this purchase was made available by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. The Lafreniere homestead and barn complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The East Barn is a local landmark and is depicted on the Town Seal of Bolton.
The homestead, including possibly the barn complex, is slated for sale by the State in the near future. According to Mike Fraysier, the Departmentís Director of State Lands Administration, itís important that some preliminary barn stabilization measures be undertaken at this time, so that this barn may be put to productive use in the future. ďRegardless of whether the Department elects to include the barns as a part of the sale parcel or chooses to retain the barns in State ownership, the Department recognizes the historic significance of this barn and its importance to the Town of Bolton and felt it was important to undertake some stabilization measures now so that the barn is not lost,Ē said Fraysier. The Departmentís goal regarding barn stabilization is to complete the most critical measures that have the greatest potential for maximizing the barnís useful life and would enhance the ability of the landowner (be it the State or a private party) to complete barn stabilization and restoration.
The barn stabilization activities are being undertaken by Building Heritage which is serving as the Departmentís contractor for this project. The barn has been jacked up, rotten posts and girts have been repaired or replaced, new sills have been installed, and a new foundation prepared about 40í north of its previous location. ďA major reason this barn was in such tough shape was due to its location immediately off the Duxbury RoadĒ, said Eliot Lothrop of Building Heritage. Over the years, the road bed has been built up against the wall of the barn, resulting in substantial rotting of support posts. The barn was slid on steel rails to its new foundation today.
The barn stabilization efforts are expected to be completed in November.
Questions or comments can be directed to Mike Fraysier, Director, State Lands Administration, VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, One National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, VT, 05620-3801 phone: (802) 371-7472, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.