by Suzanne McDonald
MINT HILL – A barn raising historically is a collective action of a community in which a barn is built or rebuilt collectively by members of the community. It combines socialization with a practical goal whereby participants are committed to helping one another.
The Mint Hill Historical Society purchased an 1880s wood peg timber frame barn with mortise and tenon joint construction from Marion Rogers of Ohio. It will have five bents. Construction involves planning, organization, supplies and manual labor.
Mr. Rogers and his wife are members of the Church of the Brethern. They live a simple, life very similar to the Amish.
Barn raisings are common among Amish who often work together for the good of their community and where a barn raising is more than an act of kindness, it is an act of necessity. A barn raising, therefore, may include people you don’t even know but who know that a barn is a necessity on every farm.
In that same community effort, the Mint Hill Historical Society encourages and welcomes community participation.
The barn site is ready. The concrete foundation and floor have been poured courtesy of Blue Dot Redi Mix of Mint Hill. It has dried, set and been inspected. When Mr. Rogers’ crew of three arrive, they will spend the first day assembling the bents on the ground. Then with the help of modern technology, a crane will raise them into position. After erecting the timber frame, it will be clad with 10-inch barn boards and four-inch roof boards. Barn boards will be placed on saw horses so folks who want to help, can stain them before Mr. Rogers’ crew nails them to the timber frame.
As money and volunteer labor allow, lean-tos will be added on both sides of the barn for bathrooms, a warming kitchen and “stalls.”
Preserving history for the community is fun and rewarding.
The Carl J. McEwen Historic Village in downtown Mint Hill is already a destination for tourism, students and the community. Visitors come daily just to feel the tranquility and to stroll the pathways. When the barn is completed, it will provide local agricultural history, educational programs and a place for public gatherings.
The Mint Hill Historical Society is a donation-dependent organization operating 100% on donations.
Progress depends on the generosity of the community and the society’s two major fundraisers, the Mint Hill Rodeo in April and the Christmas Tea in December.
Want to help?
Call the Mint Hill Historical Society at 704-573-0726 or email historical@bell south.net. Follow the Mint Hill Historical Society on Facebook for updates on the barn.