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HGAC Protects Franklin Township’s Cornerstone Barn

Every year since 2008, the Historic Gettysburg – Adams County (HGAC) Barn Preservation Project has chosen a single historic barn for recognition of the extra effort that has been made by its owners to maintain and preserve that barn. This year, the HGAC Barn Preservation Award goes to Parry Baer and Kathleen Reilly, the owners of the 7 Sky Farm on Crooked Creek Road in Franklin Township. Parry and Kathleen have owned the barn, listed in the HGAC Barn Registry as the Cornerstone Barn, since 2017, but they have put a lifetime’s worth of effort into the barn’s preservation and rehabilitation over the last several years.

Recently, HGAC President Anne Zabawa, and Barn Preservation Project Executive Director, Curt Musselman met with Parry and Kathleen to tour the barn and to present them with a bronze plaque honoring them for their herculean efforts on behalf of the barn, which is number 185 on the HGAC Barn Registry. The barn is a standard Pennsylvania barn measuring 71 feet long by 45 feet deep, including an 8-foot forebay. Built in about 1880 and standing on the top of a ridge with an uninterrupted view of the Blue Ridge, the barn has withstood over a century of buffeting winds and driving rains while providing shelter for animals and a storage place for crops.

When Parry and Kathleen began to undertake extensive repairs and restoration of their barn with the help of the Stone Ridge Construction company in August of 2019, the roof was coming off. Replacing the roof was the first order of business along with removing and replacing any rotten beams. Then new siding was added and the vents, windows and doors were replaced. Finally, three working, vented cupolas and two pent roofs were put onto the barn. Throughout the entire project, their goal was to make the barn look more like the original barn and to add some tasteful, useful accents. The barn in its final restored state is a beautiful sight indeed. HGAC’s sincere thanks go to Parry Baer and Kathleen Reilly for the effort that they put into restoring their barn and for furthering the work of barn preservation in Adams County.

To be considered for the annual HGAC Barn Preservation Award, the barn must be in Adams County and it must be listed on the HGAC Barn Registry which now includes 359 barns. Barns are only added to the registry at the request of the barn’s owner. If you would like to have your barn added to the registry, please call Curt Musselman at (717) 659 – 8827 so that he can schedule a team of HGAC barn surveyors to come photograph, measure and identify the unique characteristics of your barn.

All barns in the Adams County Barn Registry receive an embossed metal sign bearing the catalog entry number of that barn. In addition, owners of barns in the registry can receive discounts on paint at the Gettysburg Sherwin-Williams store and they become eligible to apply for and receive grants from HGAC for preservation and maintenance work on their barn. More details about the grant program including applications and guidelines can be found under the “Programs” tab on the HGAC website at  www.hgaconline.org.

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