Pictured, left to right, are Brent Carson – DCHS president emeritus; Dave Kerr – Chair Buildings and Grounds Committee; Melissa Stroupe – Barn at Stratford sales and event manager; Jane Hawes – DCHS board member; Sherry Carmichael – DCHS Board member; Scott Martin – DCHS board member; Donna Meyer – DCHS executive director; David Hejmanowski – DCHS board president; Michael Butler – DCHS board executive vice president; Brenda Eldridge – DCHS board secretary; and Dan Coutcher – DCHS board member.

Submitted photo by DCHS

On May 15, the Delaware County Historical Society (DCHS) celebrated the completion of The Barn at Stratford roof replacement project by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony with DCHS staff, board, community, and members of the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Barn at Stratford, located at 2690 Stratford Road in Delaware, has been owned and operated by the DCHS since 2010. The stone end bank barn was built by George Bieber in 1848 and serves as an ideal visible and accessible location for DCHS educational programs in which area school children tour the historic property and learn about early pioneer life in the area. The venue is also used to generate revenue for the DCHS as a location for weddings, receptions, corporate events, meetings, and other private and community events.

Since 2018, the DCHS has been restoring The Barn to ensure its continued use as a community center. The initial phase, completed on March 31, 2019, included replacing deteriorated timber beams and joists, reinforcing 20th-century steel support columns with reclaimed barn wood columns and bolsters, reinstalling previously removed support columns, pouring concrete footings, installing structural reinforcing tension rods, and removing a 20th-century freight elevator.

The second phase, which began last year, included removing the existing rusted and leaking metal roof, damaged wood rafters and purlins with new timber frames, and a galvanized double-locking standing seam roof. The south stone wall was also repaired, and modern Portland cement was replaced with a historic lime-based mortar.

The final phase began in August 2022 and was completed this month.

“It is a privilege to preserve this wonderful piece of our agricultural heritage,” said Donna Meyer, the DCHS executive director. “Its massive interior hand-hewed beams serve as a testament to the exceptional workmanship of the skilled carpenters from our past. We pride ourselves on being good stewards of our historic properties so they will continue to honor our shared history and educate and serve our community for generations to come. We are especially grateful to the state of Ohio and to Senator (Andrew) Brenner for their support.”

The cost of the restoration process of The Barn totaled over $1 million, which was funded through the state’s Capital Biennial Budget and managed by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. The budget request was supported by Brenner and the work was completed by MidState Construction from Marion, Ohio.

The Barn at Stratford and the adjacent Meeker House and Museum are on the National Historic Register and make up one of the most intact homesteads in the county. Both buildings are believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad.

The Delaware County Historical Society is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, preserving, and sustaining interest in the history of Delaware County. In addition to regular educational programming for all ages, DCHS owns and curates exhibits at several historical sites, including the Nash House Museum, Meeker Homestead & Museum, and the Delaware Historic Jail and Sheriff’s Residence. Learn more, view event and exhibit schedules, and find additional museum information at www.delawareohiohistory.org. The organization also operates The Barn at Stratford event venue for weddings, corporate meetings, and other special gatherings. To learn more or book an event, visit barnatstratford.org.

Submitted by the Delaware County Historical Society.