Historical barn to be added as heritage exhibit

Special Photo The Lee Farm Barn was purchased by Gwinnett County in 2007 as part of the property owned by the Lee family (Clyde Lee Estate). It is going to be moved to the Environmental and Heritage Center.

Special Photo The Lee Farm Barn was purchased by Gwinnett County in 2007 as part of the property owned by the Lee family (Clyde Lee Estate). It is going to be moved to the Environmental and Heritage Center.

BUFORD -- A historic exhibit at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center will not only be home to a house but a barn.

Gwinnett officials approved work last week to move the historic Lee Farm barn from its Five-Forks Trickum Road location to the Buford heritage center.

With the historic Chesser-Williams House scheduled to be moved to the property in the coming months, the pair are expected to provide an interesting lesson to school children interested in the agricultural history and heritage of the county, said Jason West, spokesman for the center.

"This project is extremely important in that it is an initiative to save and preserve Gwinnett's rich history," West said in an email. "The heritage collection will allow the citizens of Gwinnett a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience an 1800s settlement farm. The barn is unique locally in its architectural style. This small crib barn with board and batten siding exhibits a Monitor roof in which the center section is raised to provide ventilation or extra light. The Lee Barn will help interpret Gwinnett's early story and will play a vital role in the instruction of future generations about the agrarian lifestyle of its forefathers."

The county purchased the barn, as part of a 16-acre tract owned by the Lee family, one of the prominent members of the county's early history, who is tied to the Nash family.

The families settled in the Yellow River area around 1820, and are tied to a historic post office, also used as a general store, a short trip down the road. County officials are expected to cut a ribbon next week at a park created around the post office, while the Lee Farm park tract has not yet opened to the public.

According to the $210,000 contract, the barn will be dismantled, with the boards marked and reconstructed at the new site.

Last week commissioners also moved forward on a $2.2 million contract to improve the center's campus, adding 300 spaces to the limited parking at the facility. West said the project would also accommodate drop-offs by larger coach buses, instead of just the traditional yellow school bus, and includes a festival field, which could be used for programming or for over-flow parking during large events.

A 2,400-square-foot service building, which will provide lessons on environmental technologies and sustainable buiding practices is part of the package.

"Because the technology used in this facility will be designed to include solar cells, water harvesting rain gardens, day light harvesting windows, incinerator toilet, reuse water for irrigation and equipment wash down and energy efficient plumbing, it will be one of the most green facilities in Gwinnett's fixed asset collection," West said, adding that it will be a focal point during the center's frequent tours, where schools, churches, college group and science organizations often visit.

Both projects are funded by sales tax dollars.


NewsReader 3 years, 3 months ago

Whose job is in jeopardy because we cannot afford to pay them while we are moving this barn and house?


Oliver 3 years, 3 months ago

Barry O would tell you that we don't have enough money to hire teachers, firefights and police officers because we're giving tax breaks to the "filthy rich millionaires who aren't paying their "fair" share". We all recognize that statement makes as much sense as a porcupine working a balloon factory.

Evidently there is enough money ($200,000+) to move a barn from where it was built 150+ years ago. Is there enough money for fireworks on July 4th this year????

I think the real reason the barn is moving to Buford is because it didn't like being redistricted into Hank "I'm afraid Guam is going to tip over" Johnson's district.


kevin 3 years, 3 months ago

and I just tore down my own barn. Shucks, I could have made some money selling it to the country. Seems like the county has money to do what "IT" wants to do. It will most likely fall apart upon moving it.


teelee 3 years, 3 months ago

I would love to know how much it costs to operate this monstrous facility every year complete with it's roof that grows grass out of it. This is the same building that somebody thought would be a great idea to build over a creek that flooded and ruined the new classrooms in 2009. But at least we have somewhere to send our little darling for their Liberal tree hugging EPA indoctrination.



jjbod1 3 years, 3 months ago

Some of you people are complete idiots! The money that is being used to pay for this comes from the SPLOST that many of us who want more parks voted for several years back. That money does not come from your property or school taxes. And when the park SPLOST tax comes up for a vote again, I will be sure to vote Yes once more, along with many others I know who want to see our parks and greenways expanded.


R 3 years, 3 months ago

And who pays for the SPLOSTS?

It's an eye opener just between the house and the barn moves, we've spent over a HALF MILLION dollars.

Perhaps its time to let the SPLOST take a break for a year or so...


ssilover1 3 years, 3 months ago

So glad GC is saving evidence of the rich and hard working ancestry that built Gwinnett. From my family, thank for not ignoring the blood, sweat and tears that have made this area great. And for those of you who don't think so...get the torment out of here.,


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