The Dorman Barn is floating about four feet above the ground on steel I-beams. The L shaped extension off the back has been removed, wood salvaged for other projects where it could. North of the barn now looks like ancient ruins, except for the bright blue, slightly rusted well tank. The old foundation has field stones scattered throughout the 30ft x 40ft space and has no barn weighing down on it.
About two weeks ago, Gillian, a handful of others, and I watched Stan twirl his finger in an I've done this a million times before type of way. Winch and cable around a sturdy pine tree, probably 20,000 pounds of barn slid to it's temporary repair spot. While only thirty odd feet from it's one hundred plus year old foundation, I'm in disbelief. What the hell are we doing? Preservation Timber Framing has spent the last two weeks repairing the sill and floor joists with hopes that this beauty will last another hundred years on it's new foundation closer to the street. We'll use this barn for raising lambs, a small self serve farm shop, tractor, and implement storage.
The reason for moving this thing in the first place is a little wacky. A few conservation groups hold restrictions on what most of our land can be used for. While our initial plans of strip mining and building some condos were quickly struck down, sheep farming and cheesemaking fit the bill. We could go ahead with our project with essentially one caveat; No additional buildings on the conservation land. After a bit of deliberation, this would end up being fine. We went into this wanting to build the creamery new, so that our cheese can be clean and replicable; who knows what kinds of cheese hating bacteria and yeast are crawling out of that old foundation! Luckily both conservation groups were happy to work with us and all agreed that building a replacement barn would be ok. The old barn is charming, in great shape, and very useful space so destroying this loved barn was out of the question. It could be moved, however, anywhere off the conservation land, and still be seen as replaceable.
So here we are, with a barn floating four feet above what will later be the site of our creamery.