High Water at the Hughes Barn Museum

The high water event of July 1, 2017 hit Thetford hard; damaging roads, culverts, driveways, and ditches. Basements flooded, and yards were washed away or filled with debris. The Thetford Historical Society’s Hughes Barn Museum on Route 113 also suffered extensive damage, both structurally and to our collection, when Zebedee Brook overran its banks.

The force and volume of the water inflow was such that it displaced many of the collection items and coated them with sediment and other debris. It also undermined portions of the barn foundation, displaced some of the wooden flooring, damaged portions of the exterior walls and displaced or washed away some of the crushed stone surface in the carriage area. Click here for a gallery of photos after the water receded.

We have dealt with the immediate: dumping water out of items inside (the high water line is more than four feet high on the ground floor of the barn) and beginning the process of drying out the building and its contents. We are assessing our needs in terms of site clean-up, repairs to the Main Barn, mitigation of future water issues, and collection preservation/restoration. Sadly, some items are likely too badly damaged to be saved.

Please stay tuned for upcoming work events at the Museum in the next few weeks. We’ll need many hands to get things back in shape, and would appreciate any help that you can give us. We are also planning our first fund-raising event: the Warm Summer Nights Dance at the Pavilion in East Thetford, on Saturday, August 12 -- which also happens to be Thetford’s 256th birthday. All proceeds will go to repair the flood damage.

THS Board of Trustees

Marshall Van Norden, President (North Thetford)
Sally Duston, Vice President (Thetford Center)
Sarah Clarke, Treasurer (East Thetford)
Roberta Howard, Secretary (North Thetford)

Jennifer Boeri-Boyce (Post Mills) Steve Niederhauser (Vershire)
Joe Deffner (Rice’s Mills) Tara Pacht (East Thetford)
Rick Hoffman (East Thetford) Cy Severance (East Thetford)
Bob Metzler (North Thetford) Karl Tilden (Thetford Center)

Martha Howard, Director