The 1914 barn is targeted for structural rejuvenation. (Al Lohman/The Patriot)

The Carver County Historical Society is having a barn raising at the Andrew Peterson farm just east of Waconia.

Well, the barn is already there. But it was built in 1914 and is in need of considerable structural rehabilitation to make it suitable to serve as a future interpretative center and public event space at the historic farm site.

That’s the long-term plan, according to Wendy Petersen Biorn, Historical Society executive director, and last week general contractor Hansen Hometech was at the Peterson farm to do some preliminary work to get that project started.

The initial work involved moving historical carriages, buggies and a reproduction covered wagon from storage in that barn to the north barn, which was restored in 2017. Next, crews cleaned out the barn and granary of hay and other accumulated debris, and are spraying all three buildings for powder post beetles. The wood-boring beetles infest buildings and can do considerable structural damage.

Then the contractor and architecture firm Miller Dunwiddie will do a structural investigation and develop a plan and drawings to stabilize the building for future public use. In fact, some temporary structures already have been put in place to support a lift that will be used to inspect the upper reaches of the structure and spray for beetles.

The work is being done with $160,000 from the state’s Legacy Fund for arts and cultural heritage and is being guided by the State Historical Preservation Office.

Plans should be in place by mid-September, according to Biorn, at which time the construction contractor will begin work to stabilize the building.

One intriguing facet of that work involves the use of a laminated pressed wood product for the structural beams. The product is billed as being stronger than concrete but has the look of the type of wood that historical proponents would like to achieve with the rehabilitation project.

Biorn notes that the 1914 barn was built outside the years Andrew Peterson owned the farm so the work won’t be an exact historical restoration, which means the Historical Society has more latitude in how the barn will be rehabilitated.

She explains that the building has been a cow barn, dairy barn and horse barn, and has been modified over the years, making it an excellent example of how farming has evolved over time.

Building stabilization work should be completed next spring at which time the Historical Society will launch a capital fundraising campaign to compete the welcome center.

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