I received a phone call about the Troop barn this afternoon. I have been expecting a phone call about this octagonal barn for some time. The call I was expecting was going to tell me that the building had fallen down. In a perfect world, the phone call was going to tell me that someone had purchased the property and they were going to restore the building. I was not expecting a call to tell me that the building was being torn down.
This is why heritage designation is important. This building has recently been deregistered by the County as well as the Province. As such, there was absolutely no protection for it. While designation does provide some protection, the other side of the equation is that buildings need to be maintained. This building was not being maintained.
I have heard (second hand information) that the framework is to be disassembled and taken to somewhere on the South Shore of the province. I do not know if this is true. Unfortunately, the importance of the barn is its context. It was built in Granville Center. Since 1888 this building has graced the landscape in this community. Generations of the Troop family have used this barn while toiling to make a living off the land in the Annapolis Valley. While its history tells an international story, Its individual story and its human connections are here. Reassembled elsewhere, the barn is a hollow shell devoid of its history.
Perhaps a new start is the best thing for the Troop Barn. Despite a great deal of effort and endless discussions, there did not seem to be anyone locally who was willing to step in to save the building. This is a better option than having the barn collapse. Emotionally, this does not feel like a better option. To say that I am crestfallen to see this barn being taken down is an understatement. This is another lost piece of our heritage.
All for now,