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The Evolution of the Haybarn Theatre, 1868-2014

The Evolution of the Haybarn Theatre, 1868-2014

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The beloved Haybarn Theatre, which, as its name suggests, was originally a working hay barn on the Martin Family Farm, was erected in 1868 and moved to its current location on the Greatwood Campus in 1910.

According to Majorie Townsend who recorded her family story in an informal talk at Goddard in 1961, Maud Martin disliked the animal smells and had the barn moved 100 yards to its present location. Majorie said that the original barn raising in 1868 involved 60 yoke of oxen presumably brought in by local farmers who helped.

"This was a big deal -- like a big party," she said. "They served a lot of rum and a lot of food and everybody had a good time," added Marjorie.

The renovations to the Haybarn involved the removal of some of the center supports in order to open up the floor space by adding the gussetted cross braced beams one can see when you look up from your seat in the Haybarn Theatre today. Our archivist posits that Harold Townsend (husband of Majorie and a widely recognized talented carpenter and amateur thespian) was involved with the renovations. Some of the photographs are marked 1957 in Will Hamlin’s handwriting but the renovations may have been a bit earlier than that.

Enjoy this small photo history slideshow, about a minute and a half long.

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