Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Event for Barn Lovers

Reprinted from the Ontario Heritage Connection

July 26, 2010) Black Creek Pioneer Village is a participant in a worldwide “Celebration of Swiss Barns” on Saturday August 7. The 200-year-old Schmidt-Dalziel Barn at the Village is one of only 10 locations around the world where fans of barn architecture and culture can learn how the Amish and Mennonite fight for religious freedom created the core of North American Heritage Barns.

The Barn is undergoing restoration right now, so that this is a rare opportunity to view inside the building.

This is a celebration of the last 500 years of barn technology, seen live on the Web. Come at 10 am to the Schmidt-Dalziel Barn for a tour and, at the same time, take a virtual field trip of nine other barns from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia in the United States and Ballenberg and Klosters in Switzerland.

You will see the other barns live on computer screens by simulcast. The simulcast will run from 10 am to 12 noon only.

Visitors are asked to park in the Black Creek Pioneer Village parking lot, and stroll through the Village to the Dalziel Barn. The Visitors Centre will open at 9:30 am for this special event. The Dalziel Barn will remain open for tours through the afternoon.

For details about the spectacular Schmidt Dalziel Barn, visit www.dalzielbarn.com. For more information about Black Creek Pioneer Village events and activities, visit www.blackcreek.ca

The Schmidt-Dalziel Barn is a significant part of Black Creek’s history, as well as Canada’s agricultural and architectural heritage.

It stands in its original location and foundation just outside of the Toronto border in Vaughan, Ontario. Built in 1809 by Johannes Schmidt, an American settler, it is the oldest Pennsylvania barn in Canada. At 8,200 square feet, nearly three times the size of a normal barn, it is the second largest barn still standing in North America.

The Dalziel Barn’s design can be classified as a Log Sweitzer, open forebay, double crib, bank barn - a combination that fully utilizes the best of the Swiss barn prototype and the various techniques employed by the early (and culturally diverse) settlers from Pennsylvania.

In 1828, the homestead was sold to John Dalziel and his family, who had emigrated from Scotland to start a new life in Upper Canada. For nearly 150 years, the property remained in the Dalziel family as a working farm. In 1954, the barn was sold to the Humber Valley Conservation Authority to preserve it and its rich heritage. Dalziel Pioneer Park, Canada’s first agricultural museum, opened its doors to the public on May 1, 1957. This marked the beginning of Black Creek Pioneer Village.

What is it about barns that has captured the hearts of so many? Artists paint them, photographers photograph them, poets lionize them, and craftsmen rebuild them. Their image represents a simple time, a noble life, and a place where we all want to be.

It's unique because... (from www.dalzielbarn.com)

1) ... it's huge. 8,200 square feet. Only one other is known to be larger in North America.
2) ... it's old. The oldest Pennsylvania barn in Canada and one of the oldest in North America.
3) ... it's still standing on its original location and original foundation.
4) ... its design can be traced back to Europe and represents a style of architecture 450 years old.
5) ... its design represents a unique approach to farming - combining grain production and animal husbandry all under one roof.
6) ... the logs used to build the barn remind us of a time when giant trees covered the landscape and natural resources seemed limitless.
7) ... its relationship to the topography makes it an excellent example of how the early settlers adapted to their immediate environment.
8) ... its history represents a people that came to a new land, defeated the near impenetrable old-growth forests, and brought prosperity to a region void of infrastructure and opportunity.
9) ... it represents the melting pot of cultures that made Canada.
10) ... it became Canada's first agricultural museum, Dalziel Pioneer Park, and was the beginning of Black Creek Pioneer Village - a living history museum with 30 historic buildings, over 50,000 artifacts from the 19th-century, and entertains about 200,000 visitors every season.

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