Hoagland Construction visited the barn site in 2015 and determined that the barns dated to the late 18th or early 19th century of English frame construction and both were bank barns, built into a slope. Both barns had foundation problems and problems related to their proximity to each other. Frost heaving and water damage collapsed foundation walls and rendered the large barn damaged beyond the available financial resources for its repair. Both barns were health and safety hazards for our seasonal business.
Demolition of the large barn was done by GC Uhring Custom Builders, Inc., out of Gloucester, Ma. Usable parts were removed and re-purposed in Massachusetts. This saved us the cost of demolition and disposing of the material. Hoagland Construction of Buxton, ME, provided initial guidance and quotes to rebuild the barn. Hanson Farm logging operations provided funding and timber for the project. Lumber was milled locally by Belgian Meadows of Lebanon, ME.
The joinery pointed to its bank barn construction. It was clear that the timber frame was in particularly good shape thanks to the lack of shade and the howling winds that are a staple of Hanson’s Ridge. The foundation, however, was in very rough shape, as were the roof, siding, etc. It was decided that the barn would be carefully dismantled, paying attention to keep all aspects of joinery intact. During this process, it was discovered that, on one gable side, the barn’s original double boarding was still intact, held together with the original wrought nails. Hoagland Restoration dismantled the small barn with the assistance of students from the Building Trades program at Sanford Regional Technical Center (SRTC).
After the building was fully removed, a new drive-out foundation was dug and poured. The frame was repaired, making sure to replace all posts and beams that were absent or rotted with timbers and pegs of an in-kind species and sizing. A traditional barn raising was done with help from the students from the Building Trades program , and the barn was finished with the traditional double boarding, eave entry and swing out doors to the basement.
Restoring a portion of the (now) City of Sanford’s Town Farm strengthens the City’s connection to its history of providing care for those in need and to its agricultural heritage. Generations of families traveling Hanson Ridge Road, which parallels Sanford’s Main Street, have passed the barns and open fields of the old Town Farm. Some may have had family who lived and worked there. The newly restored barn honors memories and replaces buildings that could no longer be used safely. We now own this property, descendants of the original owner, and we continue to farm and improve it.