Resident files suit to save Franklin barn

Photo by Chris Barber Dolores Hughes and some of her friends are suing to keep the Franklin Township barn from demolition.

FRANKLIN -- A 40-resident of Franklin Township has filed a complaint with the Chester County Sheriff’s office to save the barn next to the municipal building that is destined for demolition.

Dolores Hughes, who said she lives near the center of the Chisel Creek Gold Course said this week that the barn is too historical to submit to a wrecking ball.

The township supervisors voted by a split vote late last year to demolish the barn because it was in bad shape and did not appear to present a useful future for use.

But Hughes said the barn is not in as bad shape as the supervisors claim. She said it has a leaking roof that will cost about $40,000 to repair. Furthermore, a group of private citizens claims to have the money ready and waiting to make the repair.

Hughes said those supporters of preservation are a loosely connected group that talks among themselves but does not meet on a regular basis.

She said there are two main reasons she wants to save the barn.

The first is that it is part of the township’s historic district and is called the J.C. West Barn. It was named after an early resident who owned a store there and was a doctor.

The second is that it was built in 1816 and has passed through the ownership of families named Kimble -- after which the township was named.

“There are still relatives of the Kimble family here and it seems destroying a 200-year old building -- it can’t be taken back. It doesn’t make sense to tear down a barn that isn’t falling apart,” she said.

Attorney John E. Larken is representing the group filing the complaint.

Hughes said it was filed before the most recent township meeting but that the supervisors did not mention it.

“I hope they won’t tear it down,” she said.

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