News Jan 2011 at the Maasdam Barns

News Jan 2011

Restoration Work, from a story in the Fairfield Ledger, Jan 5, 2011

Restoration work returns original look to historic barn

After installing a replica of the original cupola on the milking barn at the historic Maasdam Barns, a crew from Schaus-Vorhies Contracting Inc., begins a project to replace the asphalt shingles with wooden ones so that the barn will look more like it originally did.

Work is progressing at the Maasdam Barns, but the historical site isn't ready to open for visitors just yet.

According to Larry Nash, chairman of the Maasdam Barns Historic Preservation Committee, a Schaus-Vorhies Contracting Inc. crew is currently working on the roof of the milking barn to restore it to its original state.

That work, Nash, continued, includes building and installing a cupola on the roof, as well as re-shingling the roof.

Nash explained engineer Dan Reneker, using measurements taken from an old photo of the barns, designed new replacement cupolas for both the milking barn and the mares' barn. Schaus-Vorhies workers built and painted the structures on the ground and then, after reinforcing the rafters to hold the weight and cutting a hole in each barn, lifted the cupolas into place.

"It's working really nice," said Nash.

Schaus-Vorhies workers also are installing new wood singles on the milking barn.

"Originally, the barns had wood shingles, but over the years, they were replaced with asphalt ones," said Nash. "Now we are replacing those with wood shingles so the barns look more like they originally did."

The work is being financed with two grants: a $90,000 Historic Site Preservation Grant; and a $206,038 Statewide Transportation Enhancement Grant through the Department of Transportation. Those grants were obtained without any matching funds from the county, as the two were leveraged against each other, explained Ron Blair of the barns committee.

Nash said signage and display items, such as a lap robe and a pair of mitts made from the hide of a favorite horse and recently donated by Maasdam family members, for the museum are ready to be set up in the house at the site, he continued, but because the house does not yet have heating and air conditioning, those items are being stored at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

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