Supporters raising money to save historic Moorestown barn

Barn boosters plan to hold a fund-raiser at the township Community House on Main Street to bring in money for the refurbishment.
Barn boosters plan to hold a fund-raiser at the township Community House on Main Street to bring in money for the refurbishment. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 16, 2012

The barn has a new roof. Now its supporters just have to figure out a way to pay for it, along with other work that's needed before winter sets in.

At least $17,000 must be raised to pay for the refurbishing of Moorestown's iconic Swede's Run barn, a symbol of the community's farming heritage and favorite site of parties and subject of paintings and artistic photos.

But a portion of the money from the township's Open Space Trust Fund that barn supporters counted on to pay contractors and complete future work can be released only if the project meets the fund's legal requirements.

Supporters, working with the Historical Society of Moorestown, expect to meet with township officials in coming weeks to determine whether any aid can be provided, said Julie Maravich, the restoration project coordinator and a society member.

"We're hoping we can be reimbursed for supplies" used to refurbish the building, if not the actual work, Maravich said Friday.

In the meantime, barn boosters plan to hold a fund-raiser at the township Community House on Main Street to bring in money for the work.

The historic barn on Westfield Road is believed to be 150 years old.

"The roof, along with the replacement of the rafters, cost $28,000," Maravich said. "We spent another $4,000 to fix the foundation walls."

Enough money was raised to pay for the foundation work and half the roof expense, she said.

"We owe $14,000, and need to spend at least another $3,000 more to create a loft in the barn along with door jambs, doors, and landing pad and steps" at the front of the barn, she said.

The barn may have been attached to a frame farmhouse in the 1800s and used to store vegetables, or as a cold "keeping room" for milk, cream, and butter, the historical society said. The house was torn down, and the building was used to store a tractor, it's believed.

The barn, constructed of Jersey sandstone, is the pastoral focal point of 120 acres of open space and is bordered by wildflowers and a soybean field.

Supporters hope to seal the building to prevent weather damage and keep animals from turning it into a shelter.

"If we can get the doors by winter, I'll be happy," Maravich said.


Contact Edward Colimore at 856-779-3833 or ecolimore@phillynews.com.


 

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