MINT HILL – The Mint Hill Historical Society plans to organize a barn-raising to celebrate an upcoming attraction at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village and it’s sure to be a hootenanny.
The village is already home to a country doctor’s museum, country store, one-room schoolhouse and various outbuildings on its property. The society plans to transport an 1880s timber-frame barn from Ohio to Mint Hill as its latest attraction.
Town leaders gathered for a groundbreaking Oct. 22 at the site of the future barn.
Becky Griffin, executive director for the Mint Hill Historical Society, said her organization tried to find a barn in town. At the very least, members wanted to use boards from a local barn, but they realized the town code wouldn’t let them.
She assures the new barn will represent the same era of the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village from 1880 to 1930.
“We didn’t want to build a Disney World,” Griffin said. “We wanted this to be a village that truly represents the history, and what a great history we have here in Mint Hill to celebrate.”
Scott Griffin, a board member who serves as project manager, describes barns of that era as a means of survival.
“Communities knew that we had to build barns to survive,” he said. “If we don’t have barns, we don’t have farmers. If we don’t have farmers, we don’t have community.”
While barns were functional at that time, they evolved to become gathering spaces for families.
“The barn told the story of who the family was,” he said. “It’s the dream of the Mint Hill Historical Society to describe who we are.”
Mayor Ted Biggers said the barn will be a great amenity to the community.
“So many good people in this community are associated with this historical society,” Mayor Ted Biggers said. “The work they have put in to make our town and community a better place is unbelievable.”
Joy Greear, president of the Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center, said leaders at the historical society were among the first connections she made when she was tapped to open the hospital.
Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center has contributed time and money to support the nonprofit, especially when it came to the barn project. Some of her staff has helped work on the grounds and could be overheard saying they didn’t know the village even existed. Greear challenged the society to tap into its partnerships and relationships to promote its treasures.
“This team is building the history of Mint Hill and keeping this history alive,” Greear said. “We owe it to this community to make sure that everyone knows about this place.”
Want to go?
The Carl J. McEwen Historic Village is located at 7601 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill. Call 704-573-0762 or visit www.minthill history.com/ to arrange for a tour.