D&R Greenway Land Trust invites the public to celebrate their dedication of the rescued historic timberframe barn on Hopewell’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve. Festivities take place from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 28, following the Hopewell Harvest Fair. Barn dancing will start at 7 p.m., to the music of Bill Flemer’s Riverside Bluegrass Band. Guests are invited to bring picnic suppers, blankets, flashlights, and folding chairs.
Ian Macdonald Catering of Hopewell will offer beverages and foods and beverages, including barbecue, for purchase. Entry is off Princeton Avenue in Hopewell, across from Saum’s Interiors. A $5 donation is suggested. Fees assist D&R Greenway in their preservation and stewardship mission. No advance registration required.
Transforming barns is irresistible enough that PBS is producing a series on barn restoration, for which Steve Zink of Warren Z Productions filmed the re-creation of the McComb Barn. Seed from native plants grown at the preserve will be stored in the renewed barn, as well as farm equipment which maintains the land. Restorers included entryways and nesting boxes for barn owls and swallows. Crowning the re-created barn is a handsome weathervane, by Z Signs of Trenton. A silhouette of four children holding hands against the Hopewell sky, the design commemorates children who lived in the St. Michaels Orphanage in the years 1873 into 1972. D&R Greenway spearheaded the preservation of this 360-acre parcel, with broad multi-community support, in 2010.
The circa-1840 timber frame barn was restored by the expert team of the New Jersey Barn Company. D&R Greenway Trustee and barn collector, Dr. Dave Reynolds, had the McComb barn disassembled in Belle Mead, and stored on his Hopewell property until it could replace the crumbling St. Michaels barn. Dr. Reynolds asserts, “This barn comes from the 19th century. In its new life, it will stand for hundreds of years, symbolic of the countless people who helped preserve St. Michaels and the children of the St. Michaels Orphanage.”
Five Hopewell residents donated significant funds to enable the McComb barn’s construction on the new site.
Guests of all ages may sing, dance, and play along at a family music and movement class, led by Music Together® Founder/Director Ken Guilmartin. Participants may join a 5:30 p.m. nature walk from the restored barn to the site of the one-hour yoga session at the Charles Evans Overlook. Beginning at 5:45, St. Michaels outdoor yoga will be led by Lara Heimann from Princeton’s YogaStream Studio. Yoga mats and infused water will be provided on site, courtesy of “lululemon athletica Princeton.”
The nature quilt winner will be announced at the barn celebration: “Beacon”, a luminous evocation of mallards upon a pond on a D&R Greenway property, was quilted and donated by Trail Volunteer, Deb Brockway.
Native plants from D&R Greenway’s Native Plant Nursery may be purchased on-site, so that participants may turn their home gardens into nourishing habitat for New Jersey wildlife.
For more information, visit: www.drgreenway.org.