The beautiful timber-framed barn that stood on this property for 206 years was constructed in 1815. The Bacon family built it from local oak trees from Carver Hill that had been knocked down during “the Great Blow of 1815.” The logs were pulled here by oxen, and then milled into timbers and planks onsite at the water-powered sawmill on Bacon Brook.
Red Wing Farm Project–the beginning of NCOF–moved here in 1975. Youth workers spent that first year repairing the barn and adding the attached greenhouse. The first stall on the left served as the director’s office. The barn served as physical, spiritual, and emotional heart of the farm. It was a learning space, a warm, dry place for animals to give birth, and a community landmark.
On March 17, the barn caught fire. In a matter of minutes it was fully engulfed. The blaze killed the two sows, one gilt, and 13 piglets. It also destroyed all our tools, hay, animal feed, solar panels, the attached greenhouse, and seedlings in the attached greenhouse. Pieces of the barn’s original timber frame were still standing once the blaze had been extinguished. They had to be knocked down with a bulldozer.
NCOF is incredibly grateful to the caretakers, Eddy the Wonder Dog, and to the Natick, Wellesley, and Framingham fire departments for saving the rest of the farm’s equipment and animals, and preventing further catastrophe. We are grateful to Town of Natick for working so quickly to clean up and secure the site, so that we could put a tent over it and continue our educational programs.
The outpouring of support from our community in the days and months since the fire has been incredible. Over 6,000 people have given to our Barn Fire Relief fund. Thanks to our Barn Reconstruction Advisory Group, we now have designs for a new barn. (Previews coming soon!) It will reflect the spirit of the old barn, while better meeting the needs of our current and future farmers.
We hope to break ground in the fall of 2022!
SUPPORT THE REBUILD
Send a check to NCOF Barn Fire Relief Fund, 117 Eliot St., Natick, MA 01760.
Ask your company about matching your gift.
Support our Barn Capital Campaign. Learn more by contacting Rachel Tetrault, [email protected]