Rebuilding The Jones Log Barn
The reconstruction of the Jones Log Barn was many years in the making. Faced with demolition in 2000, preservation advocates carefully dismantled the Jones Log Barn, salvaging the log and timber materials for its rebuilding.
The ideal new home for the Jones Log Barn was found at its current location. The Jones Log Barn was reconstructed on the foundation of another historic barn lost to a fire in the 1950s. Now it lives on as the Living History Center as a testament to the earlier barn as well as to the Jones family who settled nearby. Once the new site for the Jones Log Barn was determined, years of fundraising efforts were needed to raise the necessary funds.
Every aspect of the rebuilding project connects the old with the new – from the stone foundation to the timber framing to the exterior reclaimed board & batten siding, the Jones Log Barn Living History Center brings the 1700s back to life for its visitors and the community.
Scott Walker and Axe Handle Timber from North Wales, PA was selected to build and oversee the reconstruction of the Jones Log Barn project. Utilizing his twenty-five years of experience, Scott was able to stay true to the historic craftsmanship of timber framing aesthetics and still meet the building requirements of the twenty-first century.
The reconstruction process used to rebuild the Jones Log Barn is the same as was used in the eighteenth-century. The beauty of reclaimed wood is not just the array of colors or unique texture that only decades of time can create, but it is also the story behind that lumber. Each board, timber, or plank has seen decades of local history. One of the important structural features of the Jones Log Barn is the notching – in this case “Saddle” or rounded notch technique – that locks the logs together at the corners. Much of the weight of the building is borne by the corners, so it was essential that the timbers were carefully chosen.
In the rebuilding process, finding replacement timbers for the Jones Log Barn posed an obstacle. Successfully sourcing large 30-foot long, 11-inch-wide timbers was the greatest challenge faced in the reconstruction project. Over the course of two years, the craftsmen at Axe Handle Timbers and many other contractors helped to reconstruct the log barn.
Once the massive log work was complete, the mortice & tenon timber framing of the forebay was next, followed by the roof rafters. Board & batten siding and siding and a new cedar roof was installed by the folks at JDT Construction.
Another historic barn – the large “red barn” at the Fritz Lumber in Berwyn, PA played an important role in the completion of the Jones Log Barn. Fritz Lumber was closing the business and the property transferred to Eadeh Enterprises. The Eadeh family generously donated the Fritz barn to Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust for use in the completion of the Jones Log Barn. Their substantial gift of the historic materials saved the project thousands of dollars.
John High and The Barn Saver from Lancaster, PA carefully dismantled the Fritz barn. The reclaimed board & batten siding of the Fritz Barn can be seen in the Jones Log Barn – red painted side reversed and facing in, covering the forebay.
And finally, by 2020, the finishing touches were completed. Due to the Covid pandemic, the official opening of the Jones Log Barn Living History Center was postponed until April 2022.
Many of the historic tools and farm equipment on display were generously donated by:
Frederick and Lura Wampler Little Place Farm (c.1736), Wayne, PA
(Served as General Enoch Poor’s Quarters during the Revolutionary War)
With sincere appreciation to the Wampler’s for their lifelong support of our local history and its preservation.