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Hope Dairy Barn
Victoria Goss has been saving horses for most of her life. From time to time she also saves a bit of Athens County history. By reaching an agreement with American ElectricHope Dairy Barn Power, the Last Chance Corral acquired an historic barn from the former Hope Dairy Farm on Route 682. The barn was dismantled and moved where the materials were used to build the Hope Barn.

Harry Hope said the barn was built by his grandfather, John P. Hope Sr., and was damaged by a fire in 1914 and rebuilt then by the town using the old postal livery for parts. The barn was used in the Hope dairy business until 1977, then for beef cattle until 1990. Hope said the barn has outlived its usefulness as a dairy barn, noting that dairy farmers now use smaller milking parlors and don't keep cattle overnight in individual stanchions like those in the old Hope barn. He said it's good the barn is going to Last Chance Corral. "I'm glad to see it go to something like that," he said. The LCC decided to keep the "Hope" name for obvious reasons - as that is what we are offering the animals.

Inside the BarnThere had been some talk of letting local firefighters use the building for training. "I figured it would be a crime to burn the barn to the ground," Goss said. "It's really a neat barn ... by and large it's a sound structure that's in beautiful condition." Noting the hand sawed lumber, she said, "You'd never see a barn built like this today -- they're all metal." Greg Pauley, district manager for AEP, said the company was pleased when Goss came forward with her proposal. The alternatives of bulldozing the barn or using it for firefighter practice weren't appealing to the company. "For Mr. Hope, it represents a lot of years of his life," Pauley said.

Preserving the integrity and protecting the resources and materials in a structure such as this one is important work. I hope more people consider rescuing older buildings rather than building new ones while these beauties waste away.

Text Credit: Steve Robb, Athens Messenger Staff Writer