This beautiful historic barn is ready for a new life.
With your help, it will be renovated into a community gathering place where you can enjoy a conference, wedding, concert, or any event where a large, one-of-a-kind space is needed.
You can honor the history of this farm and be part of its new era by helping to restore this majestic building and preserve its remarkable architecture. You will help make greater Brattleboro stronger by establishing a place where we can come together as a community to learn, experience, and celebrate.
With your help, the barn will be stabilized, its timber frame structure preserved and revealed, and the interior opened up into a clear span to create a spectacular gathering space.
Built in the mid-1800’s, the North Barn was used for storing hay, housing animals, and milking cows. Its long history includes the Retreat Petting Farm, where many children and families made memories getting to know Carlos the ox and other animals.
The restoration and revitalization of the Farm’s iconic North Barn will satisfy a vital need in the local community for a large indoor gathering place suitable for a wide array of community activities.
When restored, the North Barn will:
● Boost the economic vitality of southern Vermont by providing an anchor destination for conferences, fairs, galas, concerts, expositions, and large public events of all kinds;
● Create a model for faithful restoration and repurposing of an iconic historic building at a highly-visible, landmark property that, in addition to addressing other community needs, enables the public’s physical and visual access to the North Barn’s extensive historic architectural features;
● Facilitate business expansion for area caterers, wedding planners, musicians, florists, etc.;
● Improve the attraction and, thereby, the feasibility of restoring and repurposing Retreat Farm’s other historic barns and the sustainability of Retreat Farm’s other community services; and
● Enhance the services and amenities available to visitors of the Retreat Farm, Retreat Meadows, Retreat Trails, and the Grafton Village Cheese Shop.
The restored North Barn will be suitable for events and activities such as the following:
● Winter Farmers Market
● Winter Carnival activities
● Harris Hill Annual dinner
● Annual meetings and galas for local organizations and businesses
● Monthly free dinners (contribution only) sponsored by principal restaurants in the region and others.
● Private celebrations (e.g., weddings, anniversaries, funerals, reunions)
● Conferences and Expos (e.g., Slow Living Summit, Tiny House Festival, Ecovation Hub, Career Expo)
● Holiday market
● Public debates, speeches, rallies
Support from the Community
An event space at the Retreat Farm will open up a world of opportunities for the Brattleboro area. Not only will it allow local individuals and organizations to put on fabulous events or meetings, but it provides the venue for outside groups to do the same. The Retreat Farm can be a destination for locals and visitors alike – and a boon to the Brattleboro area economy. The functional – yet one-of-a-kind – space is just what Brattleboro needs if we want to continue to thrive in the years ahead. - Kate O’Connor, Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce
We need you to make this vision a reality!
Your donation will unlock half a million dollars in matching funds. We need everyone who cares about revitalizing historic buildings and creating a stronger community to contribute to make this happen. Donate to the North Barn today.