The 544-acre historic Andalusia farm recently received two $10,000 grants from the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board of Milledgeville and the E.J. Grassmann Trust for its cow barn renovation project. The barn restoration is the fifth project in the last seven years.
Both donating groups have assisted with other Andalusia restorations including the old pump house, milk processing shed and the Hill House.
Amason said the cow barn was nearly lost, and the recent grants assisted in saving the structure. Building a new barn would have been easier and less expensive, but would leave visitors without an authentic taste of O'Connor's historical setting.
The barn process requires more funding to fix the roof.
So far the restoration covers the barn and surrounding landscape facelifts. All trees and vegetation threatening the barn have been removed.
The west, north and south exterior walls have been completely stabilized. The east wall is about to be wrapped up also.
New support beams braced the sagging rooflines and barn interior. The northwest and southwest corners of the barn were disassembled and rebuilt.
Side doors have been rebuilt with original hardware. The replaced exterior siding is either original or vintage pieces from reclaimed barn structures in South Georgia.
The farm complex at Andalusia consists of the main house, a peafowl aviary, Jack and Louise Hill's House, the main cow barn, an equipment shed, the milk-processing shed, an additional barn, the Nail House, water tower, an old well house, horse stable, pump house and three tenant houses.
The future challenge exists in maintaining the whole operation. Andalusia requires no admission for the self-guided tour, but small donations are suggested.
Visit www.andalusiafarm.org or call (478) 454-4029 for information. The tourist spot is on Facebook and Twitter.
Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday. Appointments are accessible seven days a week.
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