OWINGS, Md. — A fundraising drive is underway to help preserve a roadside barn that’s become a Calvert County landmark.
“This is our cry for help,” local business owner Terry Quinn told WTOP.
The barn, believed to be more than 150 years old, has come to be known as the “Flag Barn” because of the American flag painted on its side. A local high school student first painted the Stars and Stripes in the early 1990s.
But the current owner of the land the barn sits on along Maryland Route 4 in Owings plans to construct two industrial buildings to house businesses on the property soon.
“He’s been in the permit process now for a little over a year, and we expect that within the next 90 days he should have permits. So the idea is to not stand in the way of this gentleman’s build,” said Quinn, who is leading the community’s charge to save the structure.
And there is good news. A neighbor donated a plot of land only about 1,500 feet away on the other side of Route 4 to serve as the barn’s new home.
Once it’s moved, the county has agreed to own and maintain the barn.
“When you’re headed south on Route 4 it will be on the right hand side, and you’ll be able to pull off there and take pictures,” said Quinn.
But there’s a big hurdle to jump first.
Quinn is trying to raise $64,000 to pay for the move and the installation of a new metal roof.
“The idea is to move the barn in sections. Right now we currently have a group of Amish fellas that have done work with the county in the past with historical moves like this,” he said.
So far, the effort has only raised a small fraction of the needed amount.
“I believe that people just think that someone else is going to help and step in. We need everybody’s help. Whether you live here or you don’t live here, we’re preserving a piece of Americana.”
If the money for the move is not raised in time, Quinn said the barn will not be torn down.
“I wouldn’t let that happen. Worst case scenario, it’s dismantled and staged until the funds are raised,” he said.
The barn’s current owner has agreed to allow Quinn to move the structure.
Learn more about the barn or donate to support its preservation here: rt4barn.com.