New England farm towns have always boosted a wealth of beautiful barns. Over the years, that wealth has been spent. As farms declined, so did the barns, falling into disrepair and disuse, and finally falling down. Fortunately, there are many who appreciate the architecture and esthetics of New England barns, and have invested in maintaining and renovating them.
In 2000, the Heritage Commission sought to make an inventory of the barns still standing and serving in Deerfield, and over the next few years put together a two volume binder with the results of that survey.
When the task was completed in October of 2002, the members of the Barn Survey Sub-committee submitted this statement: "This is our best effort at a "slippery" task...twenty years earlier we would have had much more history. Deerfield properties have gone to new owners, many of whom are not interested and never pursued the history of their barn. We hope this is better than nothing, albeit short of perfection! [signed] Jim Deely, 'reader' of old barns, Fran Menard, representative of the Selectboard, Rebecca Hutchinson, photographer, Kay Williams, scheduler and chronicler."
It must be agreed that what they accomplished was not only "better than nothing", but a wonderful and vital resource document. The Barn Survey is available for researchers at the Philbrick-James Library (on-site use only, however a copier is available if needed).