Center trying to save old mushroom barn in Bloomfield - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Center trying to save old mushroom barn in Bloomfield

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Center trying to save old mushroom barn in Bloomfield (WFSB) Center trying to save old mushroom barn in Bloomfield (WFSB)
BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

A long forgotten barn has been battered by time in Bloomfield, and many people have probably passed by it without a second thought.

It turns out it is a piece of Connecticut history, and there are some people who want to keep it from disappearing for good.

Kelly Baker is a farmer with a herd of sheep that just can’t get enough of the old barn off Simsbury Road in Bloomfield.

"We try and give them a tree line and hope they'll choose the natural shelter but they like the ‘mushroom barn’ because it's - there's shade,” Baker said.

For about one century, the barn with clay tiles for walls has been sitting in a field that is now part of the 4H Education Center at Auerfarm.

It turns out, it is likely the last mushroom barn in New England, which is a barn that was specifically designed to grow mushrooms.

"This was part of a fairly extensive mushroom industry in this part of the state that has long since passed and there's nothing like it anymore,” said Jack Hasegawa of 4H Education Center at Auerfarm.

He added that he’s not sure if the battered barn will make it through another winter.

Walls are cracking and leaning and the roof is falling apart.

The center is hoping to raise almost $100,000 to save the piece of Connecticut’s past.

"We have an architect who's been studying this and he's been looking into it quite extensively - this is on the national historic register of unusual early-American farm buildings,” Hasegawa said.

So, there is no question that they want to save the mushroom barn, and make it something other than a sheep shack.

"I think it's great, especially if it's the last of its kind in New England - I think it's a wonderful idea to restore something so historic,” Baker said.

In the 1940s it was also used for apples and cider production.

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