McPolin prepares for Your Barn Door Is Open
May 22, 2009
It took Daniel McPolin four years to build the barn that has become a Park City landmark, according to the Park City Historical Society and Museum.
Restoring the barn, house, bunkhouse, shed and other structures to descriptive historical form has taken considerably longer. Since Park City Municipal purchased 82 acres of the farm, for $4.4 million, in 1990, city workers have nudged the property near State Route 224 away from disrepair. Early projects, such as installing lights and a new roof, were mostly utilitarian.
More recently, projects have brought a lived-in intimacy to stately whitewashed walls. The farmhouse now contains an old-fashioned radio and sewing machine, a stove, furnace and other accoutrements. The dim of the bunkhouse, which used to sleep four, contains a bed frame and an assortment of tools, as though a farmhand had recently made the mess.
In the future, the city wants to restore farm equipment and has plans underway to make the property handicap accessible, said Denise Carey, who manages the farm. But besides special preservation tasks, the property requires nearly constant upkeep. "The older it gets, the more upkeep it needs," Carey explained.
As one of three annual money-makers for the farm, Your Barn Door Is Open, an annual pig roast and contra dance party, is an important part of preserving, and in some cases reclaiming, Park City’s past.
The event is Saturday, June 20, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. It features music by Blue Sage, a pig roast and, of course, dancing. Tickets, on sale at the Park City Library and Education Center, cost $25.
Recommended Stories For You
Tickets have sold briskly and attendance is limited, said Friends of the Farm board member Johanna Fassenbender, who also serves as the education director for The Park City Historical Society and Museum. She urged patrons to purchase tickets early. Betty McPolin, who was born on the property, has attended the event in past years and Carey hoped she would attend again this year.
The Friends of the Farm will offer a shuttle between the Racquet Club and McPolin. Patrons can also take the bus, bike or walk.
The farm is "a real Park City treasure," Carey said, and not just because it is visually unmistakable. Families picnic on the grounds and public restrooms remain open 24 hours a day. But Your Barn Door is Open offers a rare glimpse inside the barn and outlying houses. It’s a chance to enjoy food, fun and history.
Organizers plan to transport the cow sculpture from Main Street to the farm for the event. The cow is a popular photo opportunity for visitors.
Restoring the banks of McLeod Creek
More than 20 kids in green shirts toiled on the banks of the stream near McPolin Barn Wednesday morning. They buffered the banks of McLeod Creek with dried-out Christmas trees to minimize erosion and planned to plant about 600 alders, dogwoods, chokecherry and snowberry trees in the coming weeks.
In that time, they will disperse 800 pounds of native seed mix and bag litter.
Kids from the Weber Basin Job Corps program have aided in restoration efforts here since 2001. In that time, they have planted more than 6,000 trees and shrubs along the banks, according to Jeff Schoenbacher, the environmental coordinator for Park City.
The Job Corps is a national work program intended to teach various trades to teens and adults, 16 to 24 years old. The kids on the job at McLeod will one day go into landscaping and maintenance, said Paul Otto, the business and commerce liaison for the Weber Basin Job Corps.
Their efforts are intended to provide shade and cool stream water, which increases the amount of oxygen in the water and makes it cleaner. McLeod Creek, a small but vital part of the East Canyon Creek Watershed, has been improved in recent years from efforts to replant its banks. "We try to find jobs that are green," Otto said. "The kids love the pizza and they love the weather."
Your Barn Door is Open
Saturday, June 20, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Tickets are $25 per person and on sale at the Library
For more information go to http://www.mcpolinfarm.org or call 615-5819.