By Abigail W. Adams
The Happy Farm barn in Whitefield lies in ruins Tuesday, Feb. 24. The iconic barn collapsed on Sunday due to the weight of snow, owner Robin Chase said.
(Abigail Adams photo)
The Happy Farm barn in Whitefield, a community landmark, collapsed Sunday, Feb. 22, due to the weight of snow, owner Robin Chase said.
The letters on the barn’s side spelling out Happy Farm were a roadside attraction in Whitefield, with motorists commonly stopping to take pictures. The barn off
Route 126 was also used to help orient people to their location and give directions, Chase said.
The barn had been passed down through generations in the Chase family. Pat and Robin Chase, of Chase Farm Bakery, bought the land from Pat’s uncle, Norman Chase, in
2003 and turned it into a Forever Farm, an easement that protects agricultural land from commercial development.
The collapsed Happy Farm barn in Whitefield on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The barn was a roadside attraction on Route 126. (Abigail Adams photo)
The barn that collapsed was elderly, Chase said. It had weathered decades of winters and withstood strong winds. The record snowfall this winter, however, took its toll, Chase
The Happy Farm barn was attached to a newer barn where the Chases housed approximately 15 heifers. No livestock were injured when the barn collapsed, Chase said. The
newer barn was also mostly unaffected by the collapse of the Happy Farm barn, Chase said.
A new wall was constructed the day of the collapse to keep the heifers warm. The barn was insured, but there is currently no estimate for the damage, Chase said.
“For the community, it’s a loss,” Chase said. “Material things can be replaced but memories and history can’t be. It held a lot of sentimental value in the
In December, Patrick and Robin Chase worked with the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association to open a trail on the property, The Happy Farm River Trail, which
gives the public access to the Sheepscot River.
“One of the greatest things we’ve done in our life is protecting that farmland,” Chase said. “It’s a valuable piece of farmland and it always will be.”