The Mint Hill Historical Society has a barn-raising currently scheduled for Monday, February 17th on the grounds of the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village located conveniently in downtown Mint Hill.
What is a barn raising? 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 1880’s wood peg timber frame barn with mortise and tenon joint construction from Marion Rogers of Ohio. The barn will have 5 bents, a transverse rigid frame. Historically, bents were a common way of building a timber frame, they are still often used and can be seen today in small steel-frame buildings, where the term portal frame is more commonly used.
Construction involves planning, organization, supplies, and manual labor. Mr. Rogers tells us that he expects to be in Mint Hill the second week of February to begin work on the barn. Rogers and his wife are members of the Church of the Brethern. They live a simple, life very similar to the Amish. Barn raising’s 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 sawhorses 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 will be available. 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. Therefore, progress depends on the generosity of the community and the society’s two major fundraisers, the Mint Hill Rodeo coming soon on April 24 and 25 and the Christmas Tea in December.
Be a Barn Raiser! Call the Mint Hill Historical Society at 704-573-0726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can help.
The timber frame arrival will be announced on the Mint Hill Historical Society’s Facebook. Please follow on social media or check back often to remain informed and keep updated on the project’s progress.
All information supplied in this article was provided by Becky Griffin and Suzanne McDonald from the Mint Hill Historical Society.