Andrew Peterson Farm

Now that we have it, let's preserve it

  In July of 2010, two storms hit the north barn on the Andrew Peterson farm.  The storms caused a full collapse of the east wall of the barn.  The State Historic Preservation Office was called. Linda Pate stood looking at the building.  Her response was one I will never forget.  She simply said, “You can save it.”  It was not the news I wanted to hear.   Looking at the building, I had actually hoped she would say that it was lost.  I couldn’t imagine the time, money and energy it would take to save the building, but there was never a question of what we had to do.

Doing the right thing is not always easy.  It takes strength, perseverance, and most importantly, an unwavering knowledge of what you are doing is right.  Fighting to save the barn was the right thing.  It was and is part of one of the most historically important properties in the county.

Yes, it can.

In January of 2016, we received an $182,223 Legacy grant to finish the restoration of the barn.  Weather permitting, the structure will be done mid-November.  The painting of the building will happen in the spring of 2017.

Many people didn’t think they would ever see the barn saved.  I was one of them. Take another look at the photo above; now compare it to the one to the right.

Next spring, the barn will be usable for school programs, events, and interpretation, all because one person said, “You can save it.”

Last Spring, I received notice that the Jeffis Family Foundation had vetted and approved us. This meant that they would help direct the restoration and the fundraising for the remaining Peterson farm buildings. They directed us to first conduct a Historic Structures Report which would provide a comprehensive inspection of the buildings and recommendations for restoration and future use.  Once we had completed this, Jeffis would help us raise the money needed to do the work through a three year capitol fundraising campaign, anchored by them.

Jeffis hasn’t just helped guide us. They have put their money where their mouth is.  They will pay for half the Structures Report and during the three year capitol fundraising campaign, they will match donations at a rate of one dollar for every two dollars we raise, up to a total donation of $1,000,000.  This was an offer we could not turn down, as one third of the money needed was already pledged.

Requests for proposals for the Historic Structure Report were sent out and five bids came in.  The bid chosen by the CCHS board came from MacDonald & Mac, for $99,400.  The Jeffis Family Foundation has already sent us their $49,700.  The remaining balance of $49,700 may seem huge, but we already have pledges of $11,200 and a National Trust for Historic Preservation grant for $10,000 has been submitted.  If that comes through, we will have already raised over 71% of the amount needed. 

Will you help us raise the remaining $28,500?

This amount may seem large, but as an old saying goes, “Many hands make for light work.” Broken down, this would mean about 29 people donating $1000, or 57 people donating $500, or 114 people donating $250, or 228 people donating $125 each.  Large or small, it is only when we work together big things happen.

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is worth it.


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