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DailyTidings.com
  • CHANGING FACE OF ASHLAND

    Hersey barn will fall

    No buyers step forward to move it
  • A barn that stands in the way of development of an Ashland park will be torn down after no buyers stepped forward to purchase and move the building.
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  • A barn that stands in the way of development of an Ashland park will be torn down after no buyers stepped forward to purchase and move the building.
    "We didn't get any bidders on the barn. There were no takers," said Ashland Parks and Recreation Department Director Don Robertson.
    The relatively small white barn sits on land that will be developed into Ashland Creek Park on East Hersey Street near its intersection with Water Street. The park will have a playground, restrooms, natural meadow area, walking trails, a garden shed and a greenhouse. A community garden on the site will be shifted and enlarged.
    Robertson said the barn likely will be taken down in July, with much of the material to be recycled.
    Some parts could potentially be put to use in the construction of the garden shed at the park.
    Community gardener Ann DiSalvo had appealed plans to demolish the barn to the Ashland Building Appeals Board/Demolition Review Committee.
    DiSalvo argued the barn could be put to use to store tools, seeds and supplies and for the drying and jarring of herbs. It could host potlucks, work parties, group picnics and other events.
    Since the barn is in the Ashland Creek floodplain, bringing it up to code to allow for increased public use of the barn would have been costly, according to the Ashland Community Development Department.
    In a May split decision, the Ashland building appeals committee voted to allow the barn's demolition but first to require the Parks Department to advertise the barn for sale for 30 days.
    Bids were due June 12.
    "The cost for people to do it would have been prohibitive," Robertson said.
    A buyer would have had to deal with lead paint and other problems with the barn, he said.
    The barn was built possibly in the 1930s.
    Former Ashland resident Meta Miller Kent, who now lives in Brookings, said her father and mother bought the barn and surrounding land in 1945 and opened Miller's Dairy. They used the site for a year before moving their business to a larger property on lower Clay Street.
    "My remembrances of the barn, of course, is of all the cows we milked daily, and with all that good, rich milk and cream, all the homemade ice cream we ate," she recalled, noting they ate ice cream almost every day.
    Miller Kent said she and her younger sister played in the barn and around Ashland Creek all summer long during the year her family owned the property.
    She said her older brother and sister were more involved in the work of the dairy, delivering bottled milk to many homes and businesses in the Ashland area.
    "I did sometimes ride around in the delivery truck while they were delivering," Miller Kent said.
    Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.
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