Morton speaks to barn project at annual meeting - Feb. 2, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Brian Morton, the man behind the ambitious Brussels barn project, and Barb Terpstra were the guest speakers at Friday night’s annual meeting of the Brussels Agricultural Society.
Barb Terpstra, who has long been involved in the project, spoke about it at the meeting, held at the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre.
It was three years ago when Morton first approached Terpstra with his idea to move a barn from Grey Township to Brussels in an effort to give back to the community.
“When I was younger, I was busy,” Terpstra said Morton had said to her that day. Now that Morton is older, retired and has had a successful life, he wants to give back to the community that had been so good to him.
It’s no secret, Terpstra said, that Brussels is a community in transition and a community that needs help, so that is where Morton wanted to come in and lend a hand.
Morton says he just wants the building to pay for itself, but provide a place for locals to host events, generate business and congregate in the community.
The barn comes from the Herman Terpstra farm in Grey Township and it was built in the 1870s. The stone building that will face onto Turnberry Street as part of the structure will use fieldstone from the barn as well. It will house a bakery, or another business as the community sees fit, Terpstra said.
The rest of the building will house the Brussels Farmers’ Market year-round and hopefully play host to events, such as weddings, Terpstra said.
Morton told the group that he would be double-layering pine barn board for the structure with heavy insulation in the centre of the two barn board layers. He insisted that the building must “look correct” from both the inside and the outside, while at the same time being heavily insulated to ensure it’s not too cold to inhabit in the winter months.
Originally, Morton said, he had hoped the building would be open in time for the 2017 International Plowing Match in Walton this September, but he acknowledged that really isn’t likely at this point.
He now hopes the building will be open for the fall of 2018.
Brussels Agricultural Society Treasurer and Secretary Brian Schlosser thanked Morton and Terpstra for their presentation, saying that the society eagerly awaits the opening of the building, which will be an important event for the community of Brussels.