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New Harpersfield Barn Will Preserve Town's Rich History

Written By Editor on 1/29/17 | 1/29/17

By Liz Page

HARPERSFIELD — A lot more history will be preserved in the town of Harpersfield

with a new two-story barn where the Harpersfield Historical Society can store artifacts.

The new barn went up in the matter of a few days, according to Tom Kendall, president

of the HHS.

“We had a lot of people contacting us to donate buggies and carriages,” he said. “The

new building will allow us to accept those donations and it is all paid for by grants.”

Agriculture has been and continues to be a major part of the Harpersfield community and

preserving that rich history is the reason for the new barn. Its second floor will be used

for storage.

The barn sits across the parking lot from the existing museum building, just off state

Route 23 near the Harpersfield Post Office and along the roadway to the transfer station

near the Harpersfield Town Barn. It is an Amish barn constructed by Dream Buildings

and it went up in early October. HHS member Bill Boyle oversaw the project, which took

about a week.

The Harpersfield Historical Society’s newly constructed storage barn. Photo by Liz Page

The project isn’t yet complete, with a concrete floor and electrical wiring still needed

sometime in the future. Kendall said a lean-to at the side of the barn may be added as the

HHS looks to continue Harpersfield Days. The first one was held last year and involved

several organizations.


“So many people have come to us and asked us if we will have Harpersfield Days again.

We don’t yet know if the other organizations are interested yet, but we are looking at it

anyway. We are looking at a flea market type of event for the area as an annual day.”

As a matter of fact, programming over the next year (2018) will focus on that rich ag

history, said Kendall. They will continue the program on military history this year which

focuses on those connected to Harpersfield in any way who have served in the military.

“We are still looking for items and information on any wars or military conflicts,” said

Kendall.

The Amish barn as it was being constructed last October to house equipment and artifacts donated to the Harpersfield Historical Society.


The agricultural history will focus on farms from years ago and the farms still in

existence today in Harpersfield. It is also a geological thing for the town, with HHS

member Bill Nicholson researching the land and its formation. It will also feature

photographs and information about the ag industry and farms in the town.


The HHS is also looking to have a sign erected along state Route 23 so people know they

have the new buildings and are open over several weekends during warmer weather. “We

think that will bring us some more traffic. It will specifically indicate it is a museum. We

plan on opening the season over the Memorial Day weekend,” said Kendall.

A control room is also on the wish list for keeping sensitive items in a controlled

environment. That is the group’s Phase III construction project, the museum and the barn,

the first two phases.


Kendall said the group is continually looking for grants and brainstorming ideas to get

more people to come and visit. With about a dozen active volunteers the HHS is looking

at continuing to preserve the town’s history and the invitation is open to new members.

“We are all volunteers. No one gets paid,” said Kendall. “There is a lot of stuff to log in

and new stuff which comes in all the time. We also have people constantly contacting us

for information.

“We are looking at making this as useful as possible and save as much history of the

town of Harpersfield and family geneology as possible. We want it to be a resource for

the community.”


He points out that a number of other communities are offshoots from the town of

Harpersfield, which extended to the Pennsylvania border in the beginning.

“We would like to make Harpersfield an area people want to come to and visit and see

what we have,” said Kendall.


The invitation to join has been sent to town taxpayers in conjunction with the town

board’s approval, according to Nicholson. The HHS will provide a free one-year

membership, worth $5, to anyone mailing in the card. The mailing took place in December.


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