Delta is getting set for a good old-fashioned barn raising.
On Sunday, Aug. 19, the Harris Barn will be reassembled at its new home at Hawthorne Grove Park, also known as the Kirkland House site, on Ladner's Arthur Drive.
Earlier this year, civic politicians voted to enter into an agreement with the property owner to acquire and relocate the Harris Barn, which was formerly located in the 5500-block of 64th Street.
The barn is being refurbished and will be used as a community gathering space and stand as a tribute to the area's agricultural heritage. Once complete, the main floor will have washrooms, a kitchen, handicapped lift and a stairwell leading to the U-shaped mezzanine level.
The main floor will be able to accommodate up to 275 people while the second floor will have space for another 200. In all, the barn will have about 8,000-square-feet of useable space.
Originally 5,000 square feet, the barn, constructed in 1900 and relocated in 1940, is recognized as one of Delta's historical agricultural assets. The owner applied to tear it down in order to construct a new home on the site.
Fujiko Kinjo then agreed to sell the barn, in exchange for 80 sheets of plywood, water service to her property and the building permit fees for her new home waived, which added up to less than $8,500.
The municipality commissioned Macdonald & Lawrence Timber Framing Ltd. to relocate and refurbish the barn at a cost of $362,200. The Vancouver Island company has extensive experience with restoring heritage structures.
Company principals Gordon Macdonald and Steve Lawrence both worked for Carpenter Oak & Woodland Co. Ltd. in the UK for more than 10 years where they led many projects and helped conserve some of Britain's architectural treasures, including Windsor Castle.
The company has been working to re-establish the framework to ensure it meets current standards.
The re-assembly process will begin Aug. 19 with the barn raising.
The barn raising gives the community a chance to get directly involved with the process. About 100 to 150 volunteers will be needed to help raise the two end frames of the barn into place.
The process requires three teams of people: The lifting team, which will consist of 70 people, will be responsible for the initial deadlift of the side of the barn. Once that is complete, the pike pole team, which will be made up of 40 individuals, will take over and continue pushing up the side of the barn. Lastly, two groups of 20 will make up the rope tackle teams. Those groups will take over the full lifting of the side.
People wishing to take part in the lifting and poke pole teams should be in good physical condition and be able to lift 50 pounds.
The rope tackle team is open to all ages, however children must be accompanied by an adult.
For many, taking part in the barn raising will be a once in a lifetime event. The practice was commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries when a community would come together to help assemble a neighbour's barn.
The event will also include a number of other events, including entertainment, children's activities, a chicken barbecue, a live and silent auction, and a dedication ceremony once the frame is erected.
Registration to volunteer for one of the barn raising teams runs from 1 to 2 p.m. and the festivities will continue until 6 p.m.
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