1777 Fisher Barn has
been reconstructed at the Home Lot and contains tools
and other equipment, which illustrate Dover's agricultural
history. The grounds include period gardens; the Parlor
Garden, the Kitchen Garden, and the Fruitery.
years, members of the Dover Historical Society looked for
a barn that
could be raised on the Benjamin Caryl House lot and complete,
again, the farm of the first minister.
When it was learned that
the Fisher Barn at 6 Centre Street was going to be demolished
by a developer who had purchased the property, and that
the barn was historically significant, the Society swung
into action and put out a call for help.
The Society and the Dover
Historical Commission had decided to meet on July 28, 1999:
the first joint meeting that anyone could remember.
The Commission did not believe
that the barn had enough historical significance to stop
the demolition order under the town by-law. Since the Society
was looking for a barn, the two groups moved to save the
barn which was scheduled to be torn down on August 6th.
The news of the move swept
the town, and volunteers came out of the woodwork on that
Saturday to save a barn filled with historical trash dating
back to approximately the
same year as the Caryl House: 1777.
The barn was taken apart systematically, and
the tagged pieces were stored in the Park and
Recreation garages on Whiting Road.
Immediately after saving the
Fisher structure, the Society formed a committee to raise
the money to re-erect the Fisher Barn beside the Caryl House
on Dedham Street - and to find someone to do the job.
the end of 2000, the 'Old Barn for a New Millenium' project
was raising money and a contract had been signed with
Early American Concepts to repair and rebuild the barn.
On February 14, 2001, the
Dover Highway Department dug the foundation hole for the
barn and reconstruction began.
Some 20 months later, on Old Home
Day October 6th, 2002, the
Society handed the Fisher Barn over to the Town of
Over the past year, the Society's
agricultural tool collection has been transferred from the
Sawin Museum and placed in exhibit.
The project may be physically
ended, but the process of making the barn a working historical
artifact will be ongoing.
A major task is the development
of an educational unit that can become part of the Caryl
program and involves the students of the Chickering School
located across the street.
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