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The Farrington Barn

barn"The barn has collapsed!" That is what Lorna and Dick Quimby said as they looked out their kitchen window on Saturday morning, March 2, 2002. It was definitely a change of landscape.

The Farrington barn belonged to Warren and Mildred (Tellier Farrow) Farrington until their deaths. Presently it is owned by their granddaughter, Anita (Birch) Vann and her husband, Harry. A local tale relates to the time when the Peacham Volunteer Fire Department was getting ready to buy their first vehicle, a 1946-Willys Jeep Fire Engine. The crew wasn't sure that such a small vehicle would be useful for the department. So, the decision was made to check out the Jeep and if it could shoot a stream of water over Warren Farrington's barn they would buy the vehicle. The water pump did indeed shoot over the barn and the Jeep became a part of the fire department. (It is still in use. It can go into places the other vehicles cannot. It's especially useful for brush fires.)

Now the Farrington barn is down. A piece of history is lost. In order to preserve as much as possible, Caitlin Morgan and Emma Hansen took pictures of the remains. These pictures were then developed and printed by Lexy Constantin, Katelin Jocovino and Ben Silverman at the Stevens School.

Lynn Talamini (Peacham Elementary School) is helping students gather oral history for Project: Barn. Lynn, Leah Benedict (Stevens School), and students Caitlin Morgan and Emma Hansen from the Stevens School interviewed Geraldine (Gerry) (Farrow Farrington) Livingston about her childhood in East Peacham and the Farrington farm. [The interview is attached.] Her reminisces about a barn built in 1936 add a dimension to our understanding of the evolution of barns. Originally it housed two horses, 48 grade cows, and one bull. According to the 1938 Agricultural Census it also had two silos. Its last use, according to Gerry, was as a storage facility.

Project: Barn, a joint project of the Peacham Historical Association, the Stevens School of Peacham and the Peacham Elementary School, was begun in order to document all the barns of Peacham standing in 2000. Now one is gone. The students had not yet had time to document its physical measurements, as they are beginning to do with all of Peacham's barns. It was a good experience for them to document this barn collapse, a testament to the need to catalog and document the barns of Peacham. One of the ultimate goals of Project: Barn is to share the information about all these barns with the Planning Commission so local owners would have the historical documentation of their barns and then might be encouraged to apply for funds to restore the barns that are still standing.

Project: Barn is the Peacham Historical Association's contribution to The Community History Project of the Vermont Historical Society which is funded in part by Verizon and IBM.