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October 16, 2006

Historic Trades carpenters create a barn-raising at CW's Great Hopes Plantation Oct. 20

Guests are invited to join in while Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades carpenters raise the walls of a tobacco barn Friday, Oct. 20 at Great Hopes Plantation.

Participants have the opportunity to assist costumed interpreters as they push and pull the heavy timber-framed walls into vertical positions to assemble the structure’s frame.

The carpenters begin the process of raising the walls at 9 a.m. By day’s end, they hope to have the complete timber frame, including walls, ceiling joists and roof trusses, erect and in place.

The tobacco barn is an earthfast, or post-in-ground, building. Vertical members of the wall, or posts, are sunk in the ground to provide a stable base for the structure. The 10 vertical posts are fashioned from locust logs, a heavy wood that is nearly impervious to rot. Oak, pine and poplar are used in other portions of the building.

The carpenters, using period tools and techniques exclusively, expect to finish the barn in time for the 2007 tobacco harvest at Great Hopes Plantation, a typical family farm of Virginia’s colonial period.

During the barn-raising, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will honor donor Carole Davis Crocker of Lake City, Fla., whose generosity has provided for the development of Great Hopes Plantation.

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281