DANVILLE — The Cartlidge Barn that stood on the north side of Rockville Road in Avon for almost 200 years will now be at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds for years to come.
When Florence and Harry Cartlidge bought the barn about 60 years ago, they raised sheep and sold Christmas trees.
“My mother hired over 100 high school kids to work on the farm,” said Cathy Mekel, daughter of the Cartlidges. “Everyone drove by that barn for years; I and then my children grew up in that barn.”
The family lived at the location until Florence Cartlidge died. The family then sold the grounds to Hendricks Regional Health and the YMCA to create the new facility there.
About two years ago, when the family was getting ready to take the barn down, they learned that the 4-H Fair Board was looking for a preservation barn.
“We were going to save all of the wood and build a house ourselves with it, but then we decided it had been in Hendricks County for about 200 years and it needed to stay here,” Mekel said. “This is a great place; my mother and I were both in 4-H, so it’s a perfect location.”
When they were getting ready to take the barn down, they had made drawings so they knew exactly how to put it back up. The pieces have been stored at a facility in Frankfort for the past two years. Once enough funds were raised for the rebuild, all of the pieces were brought to the fairgrounds.
Faith Toole, Cartlidge Barn Project Fund chairperson, has been working with the Mekels since Cathy Mekel saw an article in the Hendricks County Flyer about the Hendricks County Antique Tractor and Machinery Club looking a preservation barn. But the tractor club had been looking at other barns.
“When we walked in and saw this wood though, we knew we had a gem,” Toole said.
After Toole found out what it was going to cost just to raise the barn, the tractor club knew that they couldn’t do it on their own. The board asked her to go to the Hendricks County Community Foundation to start up a 501c a (non-profit); she got all of the meetings together and went to talk to people in the community.
“We’ve gotten some donations and there have been two Farm to Tables (dinner events) that have been very successful,” Toole said. “Next year the Farm to Table will be in this barn, which will be awesome.”
Toole said she’s excited to be involved with the barn raising.
“The family’s generosity and foresight to save this barn is just awesome,” she said. “Everyone seems to have a story of something that tied them to this barn; it’s amazing.”
The tractor club has received donations and the family has donated a lot to get the barn up.
Right now there is a Hendricks County Gives campaign called Dress her all in White to help raise funds to paint the barn.
Toole said the barn raising should take about three weeks, maybe less.
For more information on the Cartlidge Barn Raising Fund, go to https://www.facebook.com/CartlidgeBarnProjectFund, call 718-1200, or e-mail to email@example.com.
Donations may sent to the HCCF, 6319 E. U.S. 36, Ste. 211, Avon, IN 46123, with checks made payable to the Cartlidge Barn Project Fund.