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.