In honor of the release of the United States Postal Service's new Barn Postcard Stamps on January 24, the Heath Historical Society would like to share some history about our own very special barn.
As the USPS notes "There is something about barns that appeals to almost
everyone...Barns have deep roots in American culture, reflecting the heritage
of generations who worked the land. Today, there are ongoing efforts to
preserve barns in America...
Many barns are being maintained or adapted to continue their original
purpose of housing animals and equipment and for storage. Others are
finding new life as houses, offices, or even wedding venues.
Whatever their modern function might be, historic barns represent America's heritage (and) tell the story of the importance of agriculture in building our country."
The Heath Historical Society is proud to be part of the effort to preserve these wonderful buildings and thank our members for making the salvation of this beautiful barn possible.
The Solomon Temple Barn
On the Heath Fairgrounds stands the Solomon Temple Barn, a structure that has seen well over two centuries of Heath's agricultural history.
Solomon Temple married his first wife, Thankful Taylor, in 1769 or ’70; by 1771 he had married his second wife, Abigail Hayden. The new couple moved to Avery Brook Road where what we now know as the Solomon Temple Barn was built, and where it remained for nearly two centuries.
In 1993, the barn was donated by the Rev. Richard Gary and his wife Dorothy to the Heath Historical Society. A foundation was laid at the Fairgrounds in the spring; in the fall, the barn was dismantled, with each piece’s original location noted for reassembly. In May of 1994, in the culmination of the effort and support of well over a hundred people—Society members, community members, and businesses—the barn was reassembled on its current site at the Heath Fairgrounds, and dedicated to the preservation of Heath agricultural artifacts, and the education of future generations about the farming culture of Heath.
Before and After
Images of the Barn at its original location on Avery Brook Road
and after moving to its new home on the Heath Fairgrounds
Richard Gary with friends Bo and Buff in front of the Barn in its Avery Road location
(Picture by the Greenfield Recorder)
A few of the many treasures to be found inside the Barn...
The legendary Carroll Stowe
Repairing the Barn roof-2013
An excerpt from the Barn Dedication Speech by the late
Pegge Howland who served as HHS President in 1994
“Folks, please take a look around you—to your left, and right, and overhead. What you see are the posts and beams of a barn that has stood for over two hundred years in Heath.
Consider that for a moment.
These venerable barn members surrounding us today have withstood eight or nine major wars, a devastating depression, severe forest fires and innumerable onslaughts by the weather. Yet here they stand, straight and tall as the trees they once were, and wearing their new raiment proudly.”