Volunteers wanted for historic barn project

by Laura Bednar

A subcommittee of the Heritage Corridors of Bath, an organization that preserves the historic byways of the township, plans to maintain and enhance barns within Bath Township.

James McClellan, head of the subcommittee, said there are approximately 60 barns within the township’s 22 square miles, the most recognizable at Hale Farm & Village, the former Cranz Farm, the historic hamlet of Ghent and Crown Point Ecology Center. The state of Ohio designated the barn as the official historical architecture of the state and the committee aims to do more.

McClellan said the project is twofold: to preserve the existing barns and enhance them through barn art.

Committee members will contact barn owners to gauge their interest in being part of the project. Through the owners, volunteers will learn the history of each barn, many of which are more than a century old. Some barns have been renovated into shops, storage, businesses and even homes, according to McClellan. The current plan is to codify each barn’s history in a book.

“There’s a story behind each one,” he said.

The second part of the project will encourage barn owners to add art or barn quilts to their structures. McClellan noted there are several barns that have art and quilts already, such as the barn quilt at Crown Point, which has been in place for over a decade.

In addition, the committee discussed holding a “quilt barn tour” for community members to view barns with art located along the 39 miles of scenic byways. McClellan also mentioned exploring the idea of a driving barn trail along the byways.

“Bath Township has a strong and proud history, and the barn is a visible representative of that history,” said McClellan.

Community members interested in serving on the subcommittee or having their barn featured should call 330-666-4007 or email reception@bathtownship.org. ∞