Not only do they boast a style special to the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers that settled in Adams County, but they played a significant role in the Battle of Gettysburg. Whether they were field hospitals or strongholds for bands of soldiers, Adams County barns are part of the fabric of the community.
“We realize what we've got here is special,” said Curt Musselman, chairman of the Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg-Adams County's (HGAC) Barn Preservation Project.
In an effort to keep Adams County's barns standing for future generations to enjoy, HGAC last week announced a Barn Preservation Grant program available to local property owners. It's the first time the organization is offering the grant, which will provide up to $2,500 in matching funds for work to repair historic barns.
To be eligible for the funds, barns must be one of the 150 structures listed in the HGAC registry of historic barns.
The grant funds come from ongoing fundraising done by HGAC, including annual barn tours, the BarnArt Show, lectures, and the Civil War Barn Dance, Musselman said.
Musselman added he believes the grant program is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.
“We're sort of lucky in a few different ways,” said Musselman of area historic barns. “That's why some of us are interested in preserving the barns.”
To recognize preservation efforts completed by area property owners, HGAC has for five years awarded a Barn Preservation Award for outstanding effort in preserving a barn.
“We are excited to be able to take this important step to further the preservation of some of Adams County's historic barns,” Musselman said.
Jessica Haines is a staff writerfor the Gettysburg Times.
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