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The barn at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds was set to be demolished, but the society will use it to store equipment.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Members of the Jefferson County Historical deconstructed the livestock barn at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. They will rebuild it near the homestead house and use it to store antique equipment.The Jefferson County Historical Society was planning to build a pole barn near its homestead building at the fairgrounds. The group had more antique equipment than they could store, including some they use at their annual threshing bee, and some of it needed to be kept out of the weather. So when member Dave Campbell heard the county was going to replace the fair's livestock barn, he had an idea.

"I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute," Campbell recalled. "It would be perfect for us.

"They said, 'You can have the building,'" he continued.

So the society members got to work disassembling the barn. They piled it onto pallets, and fairgrounds director Brian Crow had a staff member "ship all of the pallets over to where we're going to put the building back up," Campbell said.

The society has poured new concrete piers, and because the building will be "self-braced," it can be set on the piers. They have a contractor ready to do the work of reassembling the building.

Overall, Campbell is excited about improvements around the homestead.

The parts from the livestock barn will be stacked behind the west fence until the barn can be erected.

County staff are planning to "saw down all those dead poplar trees," Campbell said, and they will trim the elm trees around the homestead house, too.

"Bless their hearts, the guys that are going to trim it and all of that," he said.

The work doesn't stop there.

"At the north end of our threshing bee fields, there's all these big old ugly piles of rock and concrete and stuff," Campbell said.

The historical society is planning to extend its field there.

The county will take the rock and concrete, crush it and use it for gravel, Campbell said.

"And that will clean up that messy area and just kind of beautify Madras, in my opinion."

The threshing bee is set for two weeks after the Jefferson County Fair.


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