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Feds chip in 250k for Harris Barn restoration project
Delta's $600,000 Harris Barn restoration project received a quarter million dollar boost from the federal government with an announcement coming from Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay Tuesday in Ladner.
The Corporation had applied for the $250,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada, a branch of the federal 2012 Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
"Facilities like the Harris barn are the foundations of our communities, bringing families and residents together," said Findlay, standing in the barn which was saved from demolition last August.
The barn was originally built in 1900 on Tilbury Island's Hopcott Farm and moved in 1940 to 5561-64th St. in Ladner, where it sat until last May when the landowner applied for a demolition permit.
The Corporation worked out an agreement with the landowner to move the barn again, having it disassembled timber by timber and moved to a spot near the historic Kirkland House at Hawthorne Grove Park where it will live a new life as a public building.
"Now as I look around I see a beautiful piece of Delta's heritage preserved," said Mayor Lois Jackson. "It almost wasn't."
Jackson said she remembers visiting farms as a child in Ontario and the Harris Barn is an opportunity for people to relive those kinds of memories.
"By rebuilding the barn we really pay homage to the grandeur and importance of the farming days in Delta, both past and present," she said.
Hundreds of people turned out in Ladner on Aug. 19 for the raising of the Harris Barn, which involved several teams of people lifting, hoisting, and securing pieces of timber into place, so that the structure could be fully restored.
"It was a wonderful example of our community coming together for the betterment of Delta," said Jackson.
The barn will be maintained by the Kirkland House Foundation, and used as part museum and part rental facility, which will go toward supporting both Kirkland House and the Harris Barn. The Kirkland House is a big tourist attraction in Delta, particularly for weddings, some of which have been booked from as far away as Japan.
Colin Campbell, president of the Kirkland House Foundation, said the barn has already been booked until November and the proceeds have balanced the books not only for this year but the next as well.
The federal funding will support the installation of a fire suppression system, enhanced lighting, a mobility lift, kitchen service area, and signage. Upgrades to the barn's sewage and water system, parking, and landscaping will also be completed.
For a complete history of the barn, read our Aug. 17, 2012 feature story online.
Mayor Lois Jackson (right) and Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay look down from the mezzanine level of the Harris Barn in Ladner. Adrian MacNair Photo.