This year’s ‘Our Barn Door Is Open’ party will include tours
Tickets go on sale June 1
Friends of the Farm, a local nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of McPolin Farm, has hosted an annual barbecue and dance party since 2004.
Called “Our Barn Door Is Open,” the event raises a little money and encourages attendees to have a lot of fun while enjoying good food, live music and glimpses into the McPolin Barn.
Unfortunately, past attendees could only look into the barn from the outside, due to the structure’s instability.
This year will be different, thanks to the completion of structural upgrades by Hogan Construction, said Denise Carey, coordinator for Park City Municipal and manager of the McPolin Farm.
“We’re going to offer tours during the event because the upgrades were completely finished in December,” Carey told The Park Record. “Friends of the Farm volunteers will be here to explain things to people, and I’ve taught them everything I know from growing up on a farm. And Anya Grahn, Park City Municipal’s historic preservation planner, will write up a script so volunteers can answer other questions people will be sure to have.”
The event will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 24. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, June 1.
Tickets will cost $30 each and can be purchased by visiting parkcityrecreation.org or by visiting PC Marc, 1200 Little Kate Road. There will only be 120 tickets available and children ages 5 and younger will be able to attend the event for free. No dogs will be allowed.
The event will start at 5:30 p.m. with a social, which will be followed by a ribbon cutting and dedication at 6 p.m.
“We’re hoping to have Mayor Jack Thomas and some City Council members say a few words,” Carey said.
Patricia McPolin — the daughter of the late Betty McPolin, who passed away on Jan. 31 — will also speak.
“We are hoping to have different members of the McPolin family here as well, especially Dean Burt, Betty’s husband,” Carey said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed because he is heartbroken about her death.”
Other speakers will include, Carey and Dave Anderson from Hogan Construction.
“I guess I will have to talk, too,” Carey said with a laugh. “The Friends of the Farm had a plaque made for Betty that will be placed on the farmhouse.”
The evening will continue with dinner catered by Spencer’s Smokin’ Grill at 6:30 p.m.
“Live music will be provided by the Motherlode Canyon Band, and the rest of the night will be filled with dancing on the patio,” Carey said.
Carey encourages people who are coming to the barbecue to walk or ride bicycles because parking will be limited.
Also, free shuttles will run from 5:15-6 p.m. from PC Marc to McPolin Farm, and returns shuttles will run from 8-8:45 p.m.
Carey is mostly looking forward to the tours.
“Hogan Construction did a great job on the upgrades,” she said.
Crews installed a number of steel supports among the barn’s original posts that were made from timbers taken from the mines
“They blended in real nice,” Carey said. “Before we did the structural upgrades, everything was supported by cabling and you actually had to duck to get around.”
The barn measures 7,468 square feet, including the loft. The milking parlor that was added in the 1950s by the Osguthorpes, who bought the farm from the McPolins in 1948, tacked on an additional 1,500 square feet.
“The windows in the milking parlor are all original, so we were able to replicate them throughout the barn,” Carey said.
The hayloft was also reinforced with steel buttresses and columns.
“We put in a new floor, because there were a few places you stepped and wondered if you were going to fall through,” Carey said.
Contractors also added new walls.
“They took down all the original boards and numbered them so they could put the boards back on the walls after the upgrade,” Carey said. “I came up one day when they were doing it and saw all the wood stacked and numbered. It was amazing.
“You can still see through the gaps between the wood on the walls because when it was originally built it was built without nails, and they wanted air to pass through so it wouldn’t blow over and collapse.”
Carey said the total budget for the renovation was $1.4 million, and the completed project came in around $1.1 million.
“There are still some little things that we still need to fix,” she said.
Crews found some artifacts, including milk cans, overalls, springs from a wagon or tractor, and a milking stool.
“We also found a drum that was still full of molasses that was fed to the chickens to fatten them up,” Carey said. “In order to move the drum, one of the workers, had to siphon out the molasses, because we were afraid it would break open and we’d have a really big mess.”
Carey, who will retire in the fall, said she would like to see the McPolin Barn tours continue.
“We don’t want to do anything else, like weddings or receptions, because we would have to make more changes and that would take the farm off the Historic Register,” she said. “I’m hoping they’ll will bring someone in who loves this place as much as I do.”
Tickets to “Our Barn Door Is Open” will go on sale on Thursday, June 1. The event will be held on Saturday, June 24. To purchase tickets and for information, log onto http://www.pcrecration.org or visit PC Marc, 1200 Little Kate Road.
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