The 42-by-26-foot storage barn was framed with eastern hemlock and white-pine timbers from a local sawmill.
The 42-by-26-foot storage barn was framed with eastern hemlock and white-pine timbers from a local sawmill.

Earlier this year, timber-framer Paul Freeman, owner of Brooks Post & Beam in Lyndeborough, N.H., realized he had a problem. The dismal economy had slowed the flow of incoming projects to a trickle, leaving his tight-knit four-person crew facing the possibility of going to a short work week if things didn't turn around. But then he learned that the local historical society in the nearby town of Greenfield had a problem, too: It desperately needed a barn to store some of the larger artifacts in its collection but could just barely afford to pay for the materials.

Putting one and one together, Freeman got on the phone and offered to build the barn at no cost as a community service. Then the administrators of the building trades program attended by two area high schools - who had been looking for a suitable real-world job for the coming school year - learned of the project and promptly signed on as well....

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