Barn preservation gathering on April 22 at Williams Barn

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GROTON — On April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Williams Barn Committee and the Preservation Mass Barn Task Force will cohost “Old Barns: A Gathering on Preserving and Adapting Barns for the 21st Century,” at the Williams Barn, 160 Chicopee Row.

The Barn Gathering will feature two talks on barn preservation and a barn expo of craftspeople who work locally barn building, restoration and reuse including roofing, sill work, carpentry and timber framing.

Arron Sturgis, the owner of Preservation Timber Framing Inc. will speak on the way we approach barns, how to analyze the condition of a barn and how to make repairs for preservation. He will illustrate his talk with examples from the more than 40 buildings he has restored including the Williams Barn.

Robert Adam, the head of Preservation Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School and an award-winning preservationist and teacher, will talk about roofing. He will talk about the importance of good repairs and the types of roofing common to each era. He will show how to do inexpensive emergency repairs and analyze new roofing materials, plus recommend wood types and grades for replacing structural members in barn roofs. A resident of Shirley, Adam will illustrate his talk with several local examples.

After the talks there will be a Barn Exchange where craftspeople with experience in barn repairs and adaptation will present examples and photos of their work. A list of craftspeople who will attend will be on the Town of Groton Web site.

Lunch will be available for purchase at the event. There will be handouts and information from related Barn organizations as well. The program is funded through the Town of Groton Lecture Funds and will be free and open to the public.

The Williams Barn was built in 1840 and is representative of the hand-hewn timber barns of the mid-19th century. Restored over the last several years by an all-volunteer group, the Williams Barn is the site of a summer Farmers Market, an autumn Barn Tour, as well as other events that celebrate Groton’s agricultural heritage. The barn, and its newly completed silo recreation, will be the focal point of tours and discussion.

For information visit www.townofgroton.org.

The Preservation Mass Barn Task Force, also co-sponsoring the event, is a committee of Preservation Mass, a state-wide, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage.

The all-volunteer group sponsors an annual Preserve Mass Barns conference, a periodic newsletter, seminars and talks all aimed at bringing expertise to Massachusetts barn owners to help save these important resources.

For information visit www.preservationmass.org.

Both organizations are concerned with the changes in the New England landscape caused by the loss of barns. This gathering is to distribute information and ideas for area barn owners to preserve and adapt their barns for today’s needs and provide a means for people in need of barn services to meet providers.

Although the program is free, the committees would like to prepare adequate handouts, so if you will be attending call (978) 448-1192 or e-mail williamsbarn@charter.net.