Mourning the loss of a landmark

DRA's 1910 hay barn

Passers-by will notice a significant change to the landscape at DRA’s Great Salt Bay Farm. Structural damage to the barn caused by recent wind storms made it necessary to take down the 1910 hay barn across the road from the farmhouse on November 20.

Though we had made repairs to the barn over the years, including a new roof, cribbing, and substantial bracing, the structural timbers were compromised by the 70 mph winds of the October 30 storm as well as by the two subsequent gales. Four of the major vertical posts sheared completely so that the barn began to shift and then to sway in the wind.

The barn was not a true post and beam with rugged old timbers, but a lightly-built transitional type, straddling stick built and an older type of construction.

Given its proximity to the road and power lines, literally feet away, and the high likelihood of imminent collapse, we were advised to act immediately to remove the danger.

It was not an easy decision, or lightly made, but action was urgently required, and safety was ultimately our primary consideration.

We do hope to one day build another barn on this working farm, one that reflects the history and tradition of this place. For now, we are mourning the loss of a beloved landmark.