Monday, January 13, 2014

Huge, Beautiful Barn On Farm Where I Used To Live Burns To The Ground

For more than a decade, ending in 2007, I rented an apartment in a Richmond, Vermont farmhouse.
The Gray Barn in Richmond, a beautiful
old structure that burned to the ground this morning.

On the Andrews Farm complex was a huge barn, known locally as the "Gray Barn," as that was its color.

I loved exploring the old structure, with its huge timbers supporting the metal roof, the well worn floor still holding up after decades, more than a century of use.

The barn seemed to sturdy, so always-there that I thought it would last forever.

Unfortunately, no. The Gray Barn burned to the ground this morning.  I'm told it went very quickly.

The elderly couple who were my landlords, Everett and Mary Jo Andrews, passed away a few years after I moved out of their farm. Now, in a way, I'm glad they are deceased, because it would have broken their hearts to see that barn go.

Even after their dairy operation ceased a few decades ago, the Andrews maintained the barn, understanding it was an important part of the local landscape. They, and daughter Jennifer, also leased parts of the barn to various enterprises, so it could continue to function and play a role in Vermont's agriculture industry.

Back in the 1990s, the farm, including the barn, was added to the National Register Of Historic Places.
This photo by Michael Hampton shows
that there's nothing left of the barn after
this morning's fire. 

Maple Wind Farm of Huntington, Vermont bought the barn just last year from the Andrews family,  mostly for their poultry processing operation.

So, yes, I'm very sad to see that barn go. Old, venerable  Vermont structures  are like beloved, trusted old aunts and uncles. When they pass, the hurt is acute.

I'm sure the town of Richmond is mourning this.

As am I.

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