Scott Campbell hoists a replacement rafter on a scale at his Fryeburg shop. The new rafter, 24.5 feet long and 320 pounds, will be used in the reassembly of an old barn at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm in Gorham. Robert Lowell / American Journal

A two-century-old Gorham barn dismantled a year ago is being readied for reassembly early next month at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm.

Scott Campbell of Maine Mountain Post and Beam in Fryeburg has cleaned up original timbers, repaired a few and replaced others. The vast majority of the rebuild will use original timbers. 

Scott Campbell has labeled all frame pieces for reassembly. Robert Lowell / American Journal

“I can’t wait for it to go back up,” Campbell said last week in his shop.

With aid of a crane, the frame will be reassembled piece by piece in three days on a new concrete foundation at Cherry Hill. Each piece is labeled and Campbell will connect them with pegs made from ash wood.

The  barn was built around 1820 by a descendant of an early Gorham founder, Daniel Mosher. Timbers are from hemlock and pine trees likely felled near where it was built, Campbell said.

Its original site is near the intersection of Main Street and Mosher Road. To make way for a self storage facility, developer Walt Stinson donated the barn to Shaw Brothers Family Foundation, the nonprofit that is creating a nearby farm at its 258-acre Cherry Hill to preserve the town’s farming roots.


“We’re saving a piece of history,” Jon Shaw, president of Shaw Brothers Construction, said Tuesday.

An old timber is repaired with a new splice and fastened with wooden pegs. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The cost of saving the barn will be about half a million dollars “if we’re lucky,” he said.

The eight-bay barn is 42 feet wide, 80 feet long and 32 feet high and has big doors on gabled ends.

“It’s a Yankee barn,” Campbell said.

Gorham builder Dennis Nickerson will finish the barn after the frame is raised, Shaw said.

Once restored, it include an office for a farm manager, rest rooms, a lunch room, a conference room for civic and school groups, and a storage area for artifacts. A sprinkler system, Shaw said, will be installed as a fire precaution.


The  barn was dismantled in February last year, and its 300 or more framing pieces were trucked to Campbell’s shop in November. Two 80-foot wall plates running the length of the barn were too long for easy transport and were hauled with a police escort down Main Street to Cherry Hill to await reconstruction.

Tools Scott Campbell used to restore the barn. Robert Lowell / American Journal

At his Fryeburg shop, Campbell power-washed each piece. He replaced nine of the 64 rafters, each 4 by 8 inches thick and  24.5 feet long. New rafters each weigh 320 pounds. A replacement, upright post weighs 600.

Beams tying the barn across its width are 42 feet and one of those needed to be replaced.

Campbell also will replace six of nine original “king posts” that help support the roof. All but three had been removed sometime in the past to allow for the installation of a track for a hay hoist. He’s restoring the barn back to its original design.

The barn was in a state of disrepair, Campbell said, but “enough of it was good.”

He has tools similar to ones builders used 200 years ago. Modern-day tools were used, however, to more quickly cut away decay on beams he repaired.

“I finish everything by hand,” he said.

Campbell said the barn is part of Gorham’s heritage.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the project,” he said.

The dismantled frame of this 200-year-old barn will be rebuilt on a new foundation next month at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm in Gorham File photo

This barn at its original site near the intersection of Routes 25 and 237. Robert Lowell / American Journal

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