Gorham Historical Society will soon vote on whether to accept space in the rebuilt, two centuries old barn at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm for $1 a year. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Gorham Historical Society members are being polled on whether to sign on for a $1 yearly lease for space in the 200-year-old barn being restored at Shaw Cherry Hill Farm.

The carpenter working on the barn now hopes to have the project wrapped up in November, after which the society could have space on the mezzanine floor for five years with options for an additional 25 years. Under the terms of the lease, Shaw Brothers would pay for heat, air conditioning, electricity and an elevator.

Historical society members need to officially accept the offer, according to Suzanne Phillips, the organization’s president.

“We don’t have a signed lease yet,” Phillips said.

She is contacting the society’s 89 members this week with a letter and they can vote by mail. Phillips said the few she had already contacted are on board with a move to Cherry Hill Farm, on Main Street/Route 25.

The historical society is now headquartered in a town-owned building at 28 School St. that would be returned to the town.


“The town manager is aware of the possibility of the move,” Phillips said.

The society would house its furnishings, artifacts, books, genealogy records and other materials in the leased barn space. It will not be open to the public except by appointment and in the company of a historical society member.

The historical society’s space would be well-protected with locks, cameras and sprinklers, according to Jon Shaw, president of Shaw Brothers Construction.

The barn will also house a kitchen, restrooms, showers and farm manager’s office.

“It’s going to be a working farm,” Shaw said about the 258-acre project.

The property includes three miles of public trails with hiking access to the Presumpscot River.


To make way for a self-storage facility, developer Walt Stinson donated the barn near Mosher’s Corner to the nonprofit Shaw Brothers Family Foundation. A descendent of Daniel Mosher, a Gorham settler in 1738, built the barn in 1820.

The barn was dismantled and trucked to Fryeburg where Scott Campbell of Maine Mountain Post and Beam cleaned timbers, repaired some and replaced a few.

The eight-bay barn is 80 feet in length, 40 feet wide and 37 feet from the floor to the peak. Wall plate timbers run the entire length of the barn.

Using wooden pegs, Campbell reassembled the frame at Cherry Hill in April and Dennis Nickerson of Affordable Builders is handling the carpentry. The original timbers will remain visible throughout the barn’s interior.

Dennis Nickerson Robert Lowell / American Journal

Nickerson said last week that he has closed in the exterior frame with shiplap boards. A 3.5-inch layer of foam was spayed between studs placed on the exterior and are covered with plywood. Synthetic shingles that look like cedar will be applied over the plywood.

Much of the interior finish work remains to be completed, Nickerson said, and roofers will soon place metal panels over an existing weatherproof membrane.


Nickerson expects the project to be completed by Thanksgiving.

Then, Nickerson’s crew will erect an adjacent cattle barn. Shaw said steel is
is now being pre-fabricated for it in Canada.

The project on Main Street (Route 25) is at the eastern gateway to the town.

“The cow barn will change the look going into Gorham,” Shaw said.

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