Dahlgren Pioneer Barn Groundbreaking
Part of the Oldham County History Center Renovation Project
On Saturday, June 3 at 10:30 a.m. ground was broken for the construction of the Dahlgren Pioneer Barn. “The Dahlgren Pioneer Barn will give great depth to our educational programs, expanding our family activities and providing unique exhibits. We look forward to the smell of wood smoke, roasting meats and fresh bread as an inviting way to entice people to experience history!” said Dr. Nancy Sterns Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County History Center.
Oldham County residents and History Center members Nancy and Ken Dahlgren have generously donated funding for this project. “At this point in our lives, we think a lot about the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. We would like it to be one in which human creativity abounds,” said Nancy Dahlgren. Both enjoy making things with their hands: Ken with woodworking and Nancy with knitting and sewing. “Historically, many people were involved with these skills. Now most household items are machine-made and purchased, and the user has no connection to their production.”
The barn will be a special addition to the campus where workshops and demonstrations will be held. The barn will contain a stone fireplace for cooking and an area to display antique tools and a printing press. “We have both enjoyed the opportunity to pass on some of the knowledge of making things from wood and wool, especially to children, and like seeing the sense of accomplishment it brings. As Dr. Theiss described the barn, it will be used for folks of all ages to learn traditional skills, hands-on, from other dedicated craftsmen,” said Dahlgren.
She went on to say, “It has been fun to talk to the architect about the barn and offer input about its form and function. We are learning about building cooking fireplaces and brick ovens and look forward to eating some bread and stew cooked in the barn.” Re-enactor Lucy Ricketts will be giving cooking demonstrations during the Colonial Trade Faire. Jody Edgerton, whose family of stonemasons is from the Oldham County area, will be building the fireplace and hearth using stone salvaged from the old Mallory Taylor Hospital in La Grange. He will be giving demonstrations on building with stone as well, during the Colonial Trade Faire. The groundbreaking will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a gun salute by members of the Isaac Shelby Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Gant Jones, architect for Jones Design, Architecture & Planning, said this will be a multi-functional building. “It’s a gateway into the property, as well as a backdrop.” It will have a traditional aesthetic look, he said. “The use of rough-cut lumber will give it a natural look. The project is unique because the stone comes from the Mallory Taylor hospital, which no longer stands.” Jones’ firm is also working on The Maples park project in Crestwood. “This has been a really fun project,” said Jones. The Dahlgren’s are “really involved. Someday it will be a part of them.”
Oldham County Historical Society
106 N. Second Ave.
La Grange, KY 40031
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September 5, 2017 Construction begins for the Dahlgren Pioneer Barn
- ground being cleared and foundation being laid - labor donated by Roederer Farm inmates supervised by Board of Director member Larry Chandler