Hartland Tries To Save Iconic Farm

Sep 27, 2014

One of Hartland’s last four dairy farms is in serious disrepair, but community members are trying to save it.

The Lemax farm in North Hartland is such an architectural icon that it was photographed in the 1930s for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Farm Security Administration. Some of the buildings on the site date back to the 1700s. But as the current owners, Kelly and Ed Meacham, have struggled to keep their dairy business going, the very visible yellow barn has fallen into disrepair. Now community members are raising money to fix and preserve it. Matt Dunne, who was born in Hartland and now works for Google, is spearheading the effort.

“And it’s one of the last dairy operations in Hartland, there are only four left. When I was growing up there were well over twenty, and the Meachams themselves are an extraordinarily giving family,” Dunne said.

For example, they invite local students to their farm, and participate on farm to school programs. The Upper Valley Land Trust has raised $30,000 so far but needs another $10,000 by October first to release a matching grant from the state. The overall cost of repairs is an estimated $160,000.

On Saturday between 3 and 5 p.m., there will be barn tours on the site, a silent auction, food and live music.