Owings, MD – A landmark barn familiar to travelers in northern Calvert County has apparently been spared from any possibility of demolition. On Tuesday, Oct. 4 the Calvert County Commissioners voted unanimously to accept a parcel on the west side of Route 4 in Owings as a new site for the barn.

During the 1990s a mural—an American flag—was painted on the structure. “The barn itself was probably built before the Civil War,” Calvert Director of General Services Wilson Freeland and Historic Preservation Planner Kirsti Uunila stated in a joint memo to the board. “No one wants to demolish the barn and citizens have stepped forward to relocate and save it.”

The barn’s future became a concern after the property where the barn currently stands was purchased by Scaggs Inc. Back in April the new property owner, Jason Scaggs told The BayNet that while he did not want to see the barn demolished it had to be moved since he plans to locate his excavating business on the land, which is zoned industrial. 

The effort to raise private funds to move the barn is now underway. Terry Quinn of Solomons Art Gallery, acting on behalf of veterans, is leading the drive to raise the needed funds.

“We need something to feel good about and my hope is that preservation of the Route 4 Barn will bring us together as a community and bring back a little of that feel good American spirit,” Quinn stated on the web site he has created to raise the money. Quinn stated the goal is to raise $75,000 by Nov. 1.

The transaction that will eventually result in the barn’s relocation started to take shape back in the spring after Scaggs was deluged with comments from locals who wanted to see the structure saved. The former owners of Scaggs’ property made an agreement with Scaggs to donate the barn to Quinn, a U.S. Navy veteran. Dale and Anne Norfolk are donating a portion of their farm property off southbound Route 4 as the future location for the barn.

The county commissioners’ vote Oct. 4 was to accept the parcel and agree that the county will maintain the site. The projected maintenance cost is $4,000 a year.
The American Flag was painted on the side of the barn back in 1991 by Heather Smith, who was a college student at the time. For the past several years Smith has been teaching art for Calvert County Public Schools.

Quinn told The BayNet that the $75,000 needed for barn-moving project will be raised through a GoFundMe page. More information about contributing to the project is available on a web site called Route 4 Barn.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com