Prescott Farm to host three barn preservation workshops

LACONIA — The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center are pleased to announce their partnership in a series of three barn preservation workshops at Prescott Farm. The workshops are part of the enhanced programming the Alliance is offering with its 52 Barns in 52 Weeks initiative. Prescott Farm will begin a major barn preservation project of its two late 19th century barns this spring, making necessary repairs and modifications to provide much-needed program space.

Does your barn, or another you love, need work? Want to learn more about barn history and features? Attend one or all of these informative workshops to help find answers and move forward with a project. These workshops will offer participants a great opportunity to be on the job site of an active barn project and be involved in a detailed discussion of the repairs, and barn preservation strategies and stewardship, with barn experts.

In the first workshop of the series, on April 15, "Assessing Old Barns: Setting a Game Plan for Repairs," Ian Blackman of Blackman Restoration and Preservation, will lead participants through a condition assessment of the two late 19th century barns at Prescott Farm. Before restoration work begins on an historic structure, an assessment provides critical information on current conditions and helps prioritize repair needs in order to establish a preservation plan. Blackman will explain what to look for while conducting an assessment, what the findings might tell us of the history of the barn, and discuss how to develop a game plan for repairs. Prescott Farm will be starting a complete restoration of its large 1882 barn and attached dairy barn this spring. The workshop will include an overview of the Alliance's barn assessment grant program and the statewide tax incentive program for barns.

During the second workshop, on May 13, "Repair and Restoration of Stone Foundations and Stone Walls," Blackman will discuss the dry-laid stone foundation restoration, drainage improvements, and cribbing techniques of this barn project with master stone mason Kevin Fife, of Twin Elms Landscape. After a 30-minute break for lunch, Fife will discuss the history and preservation of New England stone walls.

On July 15, the final workshop of the series, "Step-by-Step Profile: 1882 Timber Frame Restoration at Prescott Farm," Blackman will discuss framing styles, joinery, and wood selection for replacement timbers, while demonstrating the repair and restoration of the 1882 frame. Blackman will be repairing sills, sections of first floor framing, and some posts during the project. The workshop will be followed by a discussion of timber framing tools and their sharpening for those interested.

Participants are encouraged to bring photos of their own barns for discussion at the end of each program. Lunch not included, but feel free to bring a picnic to eat at the farm after the programs.

Registration is required for these workshops because of space limitations. For a single workshop: Preservation Alliance or Prescott Farm members - $20; non-members - $25. Participants are encouraged to register for all three workshops at a discounted rate: Members - $50; non-members - $65.

Register online at or call 603-224-2281.


04 04 Barn Preservation Wkshps

Learn how to save historic barns at workshops on April 15, May 13 and July 15 at Prescott Farm. (Courtesy photo)