Family Heirloom Barn Gets Boost

Ongoing Commitment to a Family Heirloom: A Raymond Couple is Working to Rehabilitate a Local Landmark Barn

Since becoming stewards of their family barn in 2016, Therren and Alissa Welch have heard countless fond memories from people in Raymond about the c. 1880 barn, from playing basketball on the second floor to line dancing and more.  Known as the former AI S. Welch & Sons Oil Company building, as reflected by the signage above the door, the barn has been in the Welch family for the better part of a century. Originally a livery stable and later the home to the oil company, the building has sat empty without a use for well over two decades. We’re highlighting this barn as one of 52 Barns in 52 Weeks because of its past significance to the community and the new owners’ commitment to its history and preservation.

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“Some people identify family heirlooms with a watch, jewelry, or fine china.  Whatever the piece is, we appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity of past generations.  My heirloom happens to be an 1880 balloon framed, wood barn with its majestic cupola and weathered brass weathervane.

As it stands, my barn is a little rough and in need of some love and care; but what I see is a glorious and prominent structure with its bright brass patina of the weathervane shinning in the sun that will stand for another 5 generations.  Now is my turn to embark on a new segment for this great structure and continue my family’s pride,” said Therren of his newly acquired barn.

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The Welches began work on the 35’ x 50’ Yankee barn in March of 2017, cleaning out the building and assessing the needs both structurally and aesthetically.  Repairs have included work on the windows, adding support beams to the main floor, and removing false ceilings, walls and the furry inhabitants that were within them.

After reading about the 52 Barns in 52 Weeks initiative, the Welches applied for and received a mini-grant from the Preservation Alliance to have a professional assessment done by contractor Ed Pape, to help direct them with their rehabilitation work.  The remaining work includes installing electricity, replacing deteriorated structural members in the basement and second floor, repairs to the cupola which is original to the structure, as well as replacing the roof and repairing the siding. The goal is to keep the building’s appearance as close to original as possible.  Upon completion of this work, the Welches plan to open the first floor of the barn as a small coffee and wine shop. There has been much excitement within the community as repairs are made to the barn.

Our goal of 52 Barns in 52 Weeks has been to help at least 52 barn owners across the state with assessment grants, assistance in securing tax relief, and educational opportunities to help save their historic barns, and we’ve exceeded our target. Throughout 2017, barns and their owners have been showcased by the Preservation Alliance to celebrate good work and offer practical information and inspiration to others. 

We are grateful to all of our donors to date, and encourage others to add their support with an investment in the 52 Barns in 52 Weeks campaign so we can do more!